Slow progress on Bor­der­lands bid

The Galloway News - - RENEWI SETTLEMENT -

Progress on plans to pro­vide sig­nif­i­cant in­vest­ment to Dum­fries and Gal­loway and sur­round­ing ar­eas has been la­belled “dis­ap­point­ing”.

The Bor­der­lands Part­ner­ship aims to “trans­form the economies” of the re­gion as well as Carlisle City, Cum­bria County, Northum­ber­land and Scot­tish Bor­ders coun­cils.

In Oc­to­ber there was unan­i­mous cross-party sup­port for the pro­pos­als how­ever things have not moved quickly since then.

Coun­cil leader Elaine Mur­ray told a meet­ing of the lo­cal author­ity she was “dis­ap­pointed”at no for­mal an­nounce­ment of fund­ing in the early bud­get from the chan­cel­lor of the ex­che­quer.

It had been hoped an an­nounce­ment would have been made in Septem­ber.

Labour coun­cil­lor AdamWil­son said:“I share your dis­ap­point­ment at the progress of this deal.

“I was un­der the im­pres­sion the coun­cil had stepped up its ef­forts and even al­lo­cated ad­di­tional re­sources to en­sure we met the dead­line set by the sec­re­tary of state for Scot­land to sub­mit our pro­pos­als to get a fi­nan­cial an­nounce­ment in the chan­cel­lor’s state­ment.

“Even now we do not have a date for the heads of terms be­ing signed de­spite that be­ing a re­quest from the govern­ment. We need the Scot­tish and UK gov­ern­ments to start de­liv­er­ing on their end of the bar­gain.”

All par­ties hope to sign the heads of terms in early 2019 with the Scot­tish Govern­ment’s Michael Math­e­son, the cab­i­net sec­re­tary for trans­port, con­nec­tiv­ity and in­fra­struc­ture, re­quest­ing an­other meet­ing in Jan­uary.

Mem­bers were also told as part of the bud­get process more in­for­ma­tion will be pro­vided on the re­source re­quire­ments to achieve the fi­nal deal.

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