The Scotsman

Fight for Fife

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It’s time for Fife, Scotland’s third most populous region (367,000), to withdraw from the Edinburgh and South East Scotland City Region Deal.

The deal offers virtually nothing to the lagging ex-coalfields areas of central Fife where much of the population lives, yet will bring investment to research, innovation and transport sectors in Edinburgh.

Failing to learn the bitter lessons of London’s overheatin­g severely imbalancin­g the UK economy, authoritie­s are combining a push for private investment in the capital with major continued public spending there. The government claims inclusive growth and tackling inequality as key foundation­s of economic strategy yet seems to promote short-term competitiv­eness without regard for the harm of longer-term inequality.

Thereopeni­ngofthebor­ders Railway has shown how one bold transforma­tive investment can change an entire economic landscape. Yet the much smaller investment of £50 million required to reconnect the Levenmouth line – with a catchment of 50,000 and a much stronger case – seems unnecessar­ily and forever delayed and did not feature within the Edinburgh Deal (sic). Fife needs its own deal.

STUART MCINTOSH

Kirkland Walk, Methil

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