SOUTH SCOTLAND MSP ENCOURAGES LOCAL PEOPLE AND ORGANISATIONS TO HAVE SAY ON NEW ENTERPRISE AGENCY

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth is urging local people and organisations to have their say on legislation to establish a new South of Scotland Enterprise Agency.

The local MSP's comments come as the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee prepares to visit Dumfries and Galashiels to hold engagement events as part of the Committee’s consideration of the South of Scotland Enterprise Bill.

The call for written submissions to the committee regarding the Bill closes today, but local MSP Colin Smyth, who is the only MSP representing the South of Scotland who sits on the committee, is urging local people to turn up at the Committee’s visits to the area later this month or continue to submit views direct to him.

Colin Smyth said, “I’m pleased our committee is coming to both Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders to discuss the bill in the community that will ultimately be affected by the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency. I would urge everyone with an interest in the Agency to come along to meetings in Dumfries and Galashiels and let the Committee know what they think. It is a chance for local businesses, community organisations, the local councils and the public to ask questions and to offer their opinions on the legislation, which will set up the new Agency.  As we will holding a formal Parliamentary Committee meeting as part of the visits, it is also a unique chance for people to see at first hand the work of the Parliament without the need to travel to Edinburgh.

“Obviously, it’s not possible for the committee to visit every part of the Scottish Borders and Dumfries and Galloway so I’ll also be holding local discussion across the area to hear the views of the community as the bill progresses through Parliament”.

“As the only MSP who actually represents the South of Scotland who sits on the committee, I am determined to ensure that the new Agency is shaped by the people it will affect most. It is vital that the Agency is rooted in the South of Scotland and has the local membership, budget and powers needed to deliver the real change our local economy needs”.