HIE pe­ti­tion lodged at Scot­tish Par­lia­ment

The Oban Times - - NEWS -

A PE­TI­TION has been lodged with the Scot­tish Par­lia­ment’s Pub­lic Pe­ti­tion Com­mit­tee urg­ing the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to re­v­erse its de­ci­sion to cre­ate a joint board for en­ter­prise and skills agen­cies.

For­mer MSP for the High­lands and Is­lands Mau­reen Macmil­lan said: ‘For the eight years I had been an MSP, I strived to do what I could to sup­port and cham­pion the causes of the scat­tered com­mu­ni­ties of the High­lands and Is­lands.

‘I was a firm be­liever in the work of the High­lands and Is­lands Devel­op­ment Board (HIDB) and then the High­lands and Is­lands En­ter­prise (HIE).

‘This agency was set up in 1965 by the Labour gov­ern­ment to stem the de-pop­u­la­tion of the High­lands and Is­lands and, at the same time, en­hance the eco­nomic and so­cial needs of the area. By any stan­dard, the work of these agen­cies has been a suc­cess in part, I am sure, to the fact that the board was based firmly in the High­lands and Is­lands where it re­mained in tune with the needs and de­sires of the com­mu­ni­ties it was set up to serve.

‘To amal­ga­mate this board into an over­ar­ch­ing gov­ern­ing body for more than one agency and move it south to the cen­tral belt is a ret­ro­grade step and, in my view, con­trary to the whole con­cept of the HIDB/ HIE in the first place.’

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