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PARLIAMENTARY QUESTION PROMPTS ANNOUNCEMENT ON SOUTH OF SCOTLAND INTERIM BOARD

A Parliamentary Question by South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has prompted the Scottish Government to publish the proposed membership of the new South of Scotland Enterprise Partnership.

Colin Smyth tabled the question last week to ask the Government when the membership would be announced. The question was scheduled to be answered today in Parliament (18 January) resulting in the Scottish Government publishing the list of members yesterday- months after initially promised.

The Government also re-announced the Scottish Government’s draft budget proposals from December that allocated just £10m to the new board - less than 15% of the budget of Highlands and Islands Enterprise.

Commenting on the announcement Colin Smyth MSP said, “I’m pleased that my question to the Cabinet Secretary has resulted in the Government at last announcing the membership of the new interim board, even although the new board was supposed to be up and running last year. However, there is understandable concern from the business community and third sector at the lack of transparency and openness in the process of appointing members from those two sectors.

That’s why in Parliament I urged the Cabinet Secretary to ensure that when it comes to the membership of the full Agency, he properly consults the business and third sector on that membership and the process is led from the South of Scotland, not imposed by Ministers in Edinburgh. 

“It’s also disappointing that the interim board has been awarded just £10m as that budget is less than 15% of the budget of Highlands and Islands Enterprise. That’s why I urged the Government to increase the budget to deliver the transformative economic change we need to stop the South of Scotland economy falling even further behind”.

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