South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth has challenged the UK and Scottish Governments to “wake up” to the current employment crisis facing Dumfriesshire after yet another jobs blow with the announcement that 14 posts are under threat at the Arla creamery near Lockerbie.

The proposed job cuts are as a result of plans by the company to move packing from the Dumfriesshire creamery to their base in Shropshire.

South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “This move will be devastating for anyone losing their job at the creamery and my thoughts are very much with those affected. It is yet another hammer blow to an already fragile local economy on the back of both the decision by Edinburgh Woollen Mill to leave Langholm and the uncertainty over the future of Pinneys in Annan”.

“Sadly the local area is simply hemorrhaging jobs and you have to ask when will the UK and Scottish Governments wake up to the employment crisis facing the area. Some of our local politicians claimed the recent investment at the site was good news for the workforce and showed economic confidence ahead of brexit but the cold reality is very different for those now facing the loss of their job”.

“When big businesses make decisions like this it is almost impossible to get them to change their mind but the bigger problem we face is the shortage of alternative employment in the area for those affected. That is down to a lack of investment in our local infrastructure, but also in supporting existing businesses to grow and attracting new ones to the region.”

Annandale North Councillor Adam Wilson said, “The local community will be disappointed by this decision. Some people may argue it is a small number of posts being axed in a workforce of over 300 but behind every job loss are local families and their livelihoods being lost. I will be urging all local agencies to provide as much support as possible to those facing the prospect of losing their jobs to help them get back into work as soon as possible if these job cuts are confirmed. However, given the other job losses in the area, this announcement brings home once again the huge weaknesses in the local economy and the desperate need for more investment and support from Government

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