David's newspaper columns can be found here
I want to take the opportunity to wish all readers of the Turriff Advertiser a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year when it comes.
I hope also that 2021 will be a better year for all of us than 2020 has been.
I was interested to read the findings of a survey by the Scottish Countryside Alliance on rural crime, and the perception of how it is treated by the police.
It has been cheering to see Christmas lights and trees popping up in homes and streets in and around Turriff over the past week, although perhaps slightly earlier than normal.
After the year we have had, it is hardly surprising that people want to create some early Christmas sparkle.
People across Banffshire will have breathed a sigh of relief this week when it was announced there would be no changes to the Covid-19 restrictions for Aberdeenshire or Moray.
I must start this week’s column on a positive note, with congratulations to the Scottish men’s football team for their fantastic achievement in qualifying for the European Championships.
Once again, the Chancellor has stepped up to support our economy as we head into the winter months with Covid-19 cases rising in many parts of the country.
Rishi Sunak announced on Thursday that the furlough scheme would be extended until the end of March next year.
Over the past week, I have again spent time talking to local farmers about the UK Agriculture Bill and future trade deals with the EU, the US, and other economies around the world.
Time and time again during this pandemic, the UK Government has stepped up to provide a safety net of financial support.
Nearly one million jobs were protected by the HMRC furlough scheme and the Self-Employment Income Support Scheme.
There has been a lot said in the press and online over the past week about my votes in the House of Commons on Lords amendments to the UK Agriculture Bill.
I was very pleased to see Scotland’s rural and environmental bodies join forces this week to call for urgent action from the Scottish Government to tackle the scourge of flytipping.