Heavy prolonged downpours have long been a feature of our weather but particularly so over the last decade.

It is clear that infrastructure at too many locations cannot cope with such large volumes of water, alarmingly sometimes leading to sewage leakage.

I was contacted by constituents last week after intense rain again caused damage and disruption across Dumfriesshire, even resulting in landslips on one trunk road. While fortunately Upper Nithsdale escaped the serious flooding which affected a number of properties near the A76 during the winter, it was, no less, a worrying period for many residents. It was clear that some of the most serious problems were at regular flooding hotspots.

I will continue to press Scottish Water and Dumfries and Galloway Council to do their utmost to find solutions, such as improved drainage and emergency floodwater storage, where there is an ongoing risk of further flood damage.

As constituents point out, the stress and fear of flooding rarely goes away as every daily weather forecast is carefully scrutinised.


The waiting was over for secondary school pupils when the SQA results arrived by text or letter earlier this month.

I’m sure, for many young students, their aspirations have been fulfilled, while for others there may have been disappointment. However, my warm congratulations go to ALL the pupils who worked hard and sat exams. Even if they didn’t achieve the grades they wanted, I wish them well whether they go on to university or pursue other useful career paths such as apprenticeships. I agree with the philosophy that we all have different strengths, we never stop learning and unexpected challenges can provide new opportunities. I would encourage pupils wishing to talk through their options to contact the useful helplines available.


The Summer programme of events continues apace, ranging from Dumfries Show to Langholm Common Riding, and offers me a golden opportunity to catch-up with constituents.

It was great to be in Sanquhar last Saturday for the annual Riding of the Marches, which, thanks to the hard-working volunteer organisers, was again a fantastic success.