South Scotland MSP is urging people across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders to have their say on plans for a new enterprise agency dedicated to the south of Scotland.

The comments come as the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee issued a call for views on the bill to create the new agency as the committee begins the formal scrutiny of the legislation.

Colin Smyth is the only MSP from South Scotland who sits on the REC Committee and believes that it is vital that the legislation is shaped by the views of people living in South Scotland.

Colin Smyth said, “ As the only South Scotland MSP who sits on the Parliamentary committee who will scrutinise and ultimately amend the legislation that will set up the new Agency,  I cannot stress enough how important it is for local people to take part in this consultation to ensure we have an agency rooted in the South of Scotland. We will only get one chance to get this legislation right and that means making clear in the consultation that we need our new agency to have the local membership, budget and powers needed to deliver the real change for our economy based on local priorities not what Government Ministers in Edinburgh think is best for our area. I would urge local people to complete the committees survey or come along to the committee events we will be holding in the region over the next two months “.

The Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee consultation starts today and will run until 7 January

The consultation questions that will form part of the inquiry are:

Do you agree that a south of Scotland enterprise agency should be created?

Do you agree with the proposals for the body’s constitution, purposes, powers and duties?

If you do not agree with the proposals, what would you like to change?

Is there anything else that should be included or excluded from the bill?

As part of this call for views, the committee will hold a number of events in Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders, including a formal committee meeting in the south of Scotland.

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