New effort to tackle unemployment

Dumfries and Galloway Council is earmarking £1.5 million to tackle unemployment across the region.

At the council’s Economy, Environment and Infrastructure Committee next Tuesday, members hope to introduce policies to fight joblessness with the administration planning to invest the £1.5 million over three years to create 400 job opportunities for young people and the long-term unemployed.

The Living Wage will also feature as there are plans for 500 of the lowest paid workers in the private and third sectors to receive it.

As well as looking to introduce new policies, councillors will also look at budget saving options such as energy efficiency measures.

The full council meets on February 6 to agree the budget for 2014/15 and a financial plan for the subsequent two years.

The budget documents are available at local libraries and customer service centres and there are four public meetings this month giving local people a chance to have their say.

The meetings are: Stewartry area, Monday, January 13, 6.30pm, Castle Douglas Town Hall; Nithsdale area, Tuesday, January 14, 6.30pm, George Street Hall, Dumfries; Annandale and Eskdale area, Wednesday, January 15, 6.30pm, Annan Town Hall; Wigtown area, Thursday, January 15, 7pm, Glenluce Village Hall.

The budget consultation closes on Friday, January 17.