Consultation begins on Borderlands issue

A consultation has been launched to look into how well the ‘Borderlands’ area of the UK is being served and what else can be done by government.

The Borderlands area, covering the areas served by Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders councils, was launched by Westminster’s Scottish Affairs Committee,

The committee said the region had been consistently overlooked and inadequately served by successive governments, adding that many of the problems replicated those experienced by areas of the Highlands and Islands - but were also shared with the north of England.

These included higher levels of unemployment and underemployment, lower than average wages, higher transport costs, poorer infrastructure and lower levels of enterprise and economic development.

A Scottish Government spokesperson said said it was “committed to subsidiarity and local decision-making” and would consider any proposals from the local community about how decisions affected the people of the south of Scotland.

The spokesperson added: “An economically stronger Scotland would be a major boost for our close neighbours in the north of England and provide a counter balance to the economic draw of London.We are working with councils either side of the border.”