Letters to the Editor

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Election thank-you

I am writing to thank all those who voted Liberal Democrat in Midlothian North and Musselburgh at the Holyrood election.

Although not elected, the vote share was nearly double that at the 2015 General Election which was a dark hour for Liberal/Liberal Democrat electoral history. It was also an increase on the 2011 Holyrood result. Key party messages on improving education with a Pupil Premium, investing in health, particularly GPs and mental health, protecting civil liberties and supporting public services were popular on doorsteps.

People were also interested to hear of my plans to try to overhaul planning legislation to tackle the current situation where developers are dominant in the planning system to the detriment of local communities and for my commitment to fight against the widespread hospital bed closures in Edinburgh which will impact on residents in the constituency.

The Holyrood result was good for the SNP but the Proportional Representation system kicked in and Ms Sturgeon did not achieve another overall majority. With a 46.5 per cent share of the vote from a 55.6 per cent turnout I do not believe the SNP Scottish Government have a mandate to call for a second Referendum on independence.

Rather, with a number of opposition parties, including Liberal Democrats, to challenge them, it is time for them to start to tackle some of the issues that they are responsible for and for which, much as SNP supporters may say so, Westminster is not to blame when things are going wrong.

Schools attainment, hospital closures without adequate social care facilities for care at home, failing IT systems for NHS 24 and Farm payments, inadequate funding for local authorities due to nine years of council tax freeze, public servants and police unable to get on with the job due to constant checks on trying to meet unachievable targets like delayed hospital discharge are just a few.

The minority government status my also make the Scottish Government consider again unpopular legislation like the Named Person Scheme and proposals for a Super ID system and removing schools from local authority control.

I am sorry that I will not be part of the Liberal Democrat team at Holyrood but I will continue to raise issues on matters of concern to the public like Health & Social Care, Planning, Public Transport, Policing with the Scottish Government and other bodies whenever I have an opportunity either as an individual or on behalf of the various community organisations of which I am a member.

Jacquie Bell

Belhaven, Dunbar

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