Lib Dem candidate welcomes report on Borderlands

Scottish Liberal Democrat Westminster election candidate for Dumfries and Galloway Andrew Metcalf has welcomed the recent publication of the Borderlands report by the UK Parliament Scottish Affairs Committee.

The report, which was published last week, examines the impact of UK and Scottish Government decisions on the regions on the Scotland-England Border. It calls on the UK and Scottish Governments to work together to improve services for areas like Dumfries and Galloway.

The ‘Our Borderlands – Our Future’ report outlines recommendations to improve the economic development of the region, particularly in terms of employability provision, mobile phone and broadband services and transport infrastructure.

The report also highlights the importance of cross-border working for health and education services and the negative effects that the SNP centralisation of Scottish Enterprise has had on the region.

Andrew Metcalf said: “It came as no surprise to me that the region so roundly rejected the SNP’s separation plans in last year’s referendum. The centralisation of control of public services, which has been such a negative feature of the SNP’s time at Holyrood, has clearly been very damaging to the economy of Dumfries and Galloway.

“It’s all too easy to see how well paid public sector jobs have moved from Dumfries and Galloway to the Central Belt because of the decisions of SNP Ministers.

“The report underlines the need for Ministers in Edinburgh and London to work together to deliver for the region.

“Despite Westminster’s best efforts over the last parliament, the hostility of the SNP at Holyrood to Westminster and the barriers they have created to cross border working means than communities in the rural south of Scotland have suffered.

“Whoever represents this area at Westminster after the election has a big task ahead of them in acting as a champion for this region, and in trying to ensure that UK and Scottish Governments work together for the good of the area.”