East Lothian Liberal Democrats met in North Berwick on January 13th for their first constituency meeting of 2024.

Ward Champion for Dunbar and East Linton Ward, Jacquie Bell, gave an update on campaign issues in the Ward where messages in the current Focus leaflet are resonating, particularly on pot holes and the shortage of NHS dentists. Also of concern, have been the fire at the Valencia Landfill site and the number of energy projects being proposed for the Lammermuirs area which will put pressure on the community including on local roads both rural and the A1 where a number of junctions are dangerous and on the need for accommodation for construction workers.

Concerns were discussed on the future of local NHS services as Edington Hospital remains closed to inpatients and Minor Injuries and Belhaven Hospital NHS beds also remain closed due to water quality issues. Jacquie noted the difficulties in getting information from ELHSCP on what is happening at Belhaven where beds have been closed since August 2022. Jacquie reported that residents want care close to home but with the NHS beds being closed care is given in Edinburgh or in Haddington Community Hospital. These are not easy to visit for those without a car and even with a car parking at Haddington Community Hospital can be very difficult. NHS sources have said that reopening the facilities in Edington and Belhaven is uncertain as the priority has to be given to staffing acute facilities and Haddington Community Hospital. Jacquie is taking up the concerns with ELHSCP and the Health Minister.