Later this month, I will be conducting my annual summer surgery tour after a two-year covid hiatus.
Look out for details on my website (www.davidduguid.com), social media and in the local press.
Last month I met with new Police Area Commander, Chief Inspector Sam Buchan, to discuss a range of issues in the community.
I was pleased to hear that local police officers continue to educate young people as well as carry out enforcement when laws are broken.
One issue that arose was vandalism across the constituency, including recently at Victoria Park in Peterhead.
Other forms of local anti-social behaviour was discussed – including nuisance drivers, noise and inconsiderate parking.
I suggested the need to do something different from how they have been addressed in the past.
Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as, “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results!”
And CI Buchan agreed that something more ‘creative’ needs to be considered.
Another key topic was the ongoing problem with drugs in our communities.
Again, education – as well as treatment for those suffering from addiction – is just as important, if not more so, as enforcement measures.
I was also glad to hear that huge effort is being put into supply lines and the organised criminal gangs who provide that supply.
I have repeatedly encouraged the SNP Scottish Government to take a more active role in the UK Government’s ‘Project ADDER’ (Addiction, Diversion, Disruption, Enforcement and Recovery).
I also hope that they will support Douglas Ross’s ‘Right to Recovery’ Bill at the Scottish Parliament.
This Bill is being brought forward in a bid to ensure that those who are addicted to drugs and/or alcohol are able to access the treatment they require.
To achieve this, it will enshrine the right to necessary addiction treatment in Scots law, and would place an obligation on NHS health boards, Scottish ministers and others to provide this treatment.
Last year there were another 1,330 drug deaths in Scotland – a reduction which was ‘welcomed’ by First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon – but only a reduction of 9!
Still far too many!
And last week it was reported that alcohol related deaths in Scotland rose to 1,245 – the highest in 13 years and an increase of 55 compared to 2020.
According to the charity, Scottish Health Action on Alcohol Problems (SHAAP): “During lockdown, our drinking habits changed, with light drinkers drinking less but heavy drinkers drinking more.”
Dr Alastair MacGilchrist, Chair SHAAP said; “The Scottish Government must increase funding and resources for alcohol services, to ensure that vital support is in place for people living with an existing alcohol problem.
However, The Scottish Government reduced the number of drugs and alcohol rehabilitation beds from 352 in 2007 to 70 in 2017!
Despite warnings of the consequences this would have, Nicola Sturgeon went ahead with the cuts until admitting in 2021 that she had “taken her eye off of the ball.”
The SNP need to refocus on the day job and get our public services back up to a decent standard.