Newly elected Member of Parliament for Dumfries and Galloway Alister Jack delivered his maiden speech in the House of Commons this week and outlined what his priorities for the region – a region which he said “captures the hearts of all who live there, and all who visit”.
Mr Jack’s speech began with a tribute to his predecessor Richard Arkless, who won the seat from Labour’s Russell Brown in 2015.
Mr Jack said: “Richard didn’t have long in his role, but he made a positive contribution in those two years, and I wish him well for the future”.
He also paid tribute to Russell Brown, who served the constituency for 18 years.
In his speech, Mr Jack spoke about the size of the constituency, amounting to over two and a half thousand square miles, as well as its rich history, beautiful scenery and thriving tourism industry.
Mr Jack explained that while he had an obligation to play his part in sustaining the rural communities of Dumfries and Galloway, he told the House of Commons that he wanted to make a positive impact when it came to economic development in the larger towns of Stranraer and Dumfries.
Speaking about the ferry terminal move from Stranraer to Cairnryan in 2011, the MP said:
“That move has resulted in less visitors to the town.
“But they are a resilient lot in Stranraer, with a wonderful community spirit, and I intend to support them in their regeneration efforts in every way possible”.
In addition, Mr Jack argued that an upgrade of the A75 Euroroute would be the biggest win for the Galloway region as a whole nd claimed that the issue has been ignored by the Scottish Government for ‘far too long’.
The importance of small businesses to the local economy and their reliance on faster broadband speeds also featured in the speech alongside a commitment from Mr Jack to seek to improve broadband connections right across his constituency.
The new MP concluded his first speech by adding how proud he is to represent the people of Dumfries and Galloway.