David Mundell is Conservative MP for Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale

Showtime in the border wetlands

HEAVY rain of late has left much land across the constituency in a soft and sodden state.

But the people of our area are a sturdy lot as was demonstrated at the weekend when the annual Langholm Agricultural Show went ahead despite the effects of a series of downpours.

It was a case of wellies all round when I joined my son Oliver, the Dumfriesshire MSP, at the town's Castleholm for the popular event, a highlight of the Eskdale calendar.

Despite the challenging ground conditions, most of the programme was completed and the hard-working organising committee praised all the competitors, exhibitors, judges and visitors.

For me the event, like so many across my constituency, provided an opportunity to catch up with constituents.

The Brexit debate was an obvious topic and there was a not unexpected wish that the uncertainty of the last three years could finally be brought to an end. I share that hope.

On a more positive note, there was a welcome from many in the upland farming community that, following a review, the Government would be awarding £160 million in European convergence funding to agriculture north of the border.

There will also be a further £51 million invested by the UK Government in the Scottish industry over the next two years, which should improve the viability of some farms with a trickle down effect to parts of the rural service sector.

That's good news for the Borderlands.

Named person scheme dropped

MANY parents in the constituency were outraged when the SNP introduced the so-called named person scheme.

The legislation, in effect, meant that an independent person would be an official point of contact appointed to help safeguard the welfare of every child in Scotland from birth to the age of 18.

Whilst the aim of adding extra protection for children was commendable and the named persons were professionals such as teachers and health visitors, the concept was widely seen as intrusive and considered by many excellent parents as an invasion of privacy.

I was pleased when the Supreme Court ruled that aspects of the proposals, around information sharing, breached the right to privacy and a family life under the European Convention on Human Rights.

Now, after six years and ongoing efforts to tweak the legislation, the Scottish Government has finally decided to withdraw the controversial plans.

I welcome this belated decision but I fully understand why searching questions are being asked about just how much taxpayers' money and officials time has been wasted in this lengthy and fruitless exercise.

Varied range of new cases

WITH the autumn phase of my annual surgery tour over, my team and I are working through our new cases.

They are again incredibly varied ranging from road issues to poor digital and mobile phone connectivity with concerns raised by both individuals and groups.

We will be taking the cases forward in the coming weeks and will continue our regular monthly programme of surgeries around the constituency.