Finlay Carson MSP

Galloway and West Dumfries

Digital connectivity should be at heart of region's economic strategy

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson says the National Economic Forum clearly highlighted the vast work that remains to roll out broadband to many rural communities in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mr Carson, who attended a roundtable event at the forum in Dumfries, centred on rural issues says many individuals and businesses are simply not enjoying the access to broadband speeds that the Scottish Government boast about.

He says that the event made clear that digital connectivity is absolutely vital if the region is to prosper in the future and attract new jobs and investment.

Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “The National Economic Forum will have left the SNP Government clear that individuals and businesses in Dumfries and Galloway simply do not feel that their access to high speed broadband is anywhere near up to scratch.

“It was the biggest issue I heard being raised time and time again at the event and while the SNP Government may boast of having hit broadband targets, the reality in rural constituencies like mine is that great disparities remain.

“In order for the region’s economy to maximise it’s potential in coming years, we must boost our digital connectivity, both in terms of broadband access as well as mobile signal.

“The needs of this region are being put top of the agenda through the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency as well as the Borderlands Deal; we must ensure that digital connectivity are at the heart of these plans.”

 

Digital connectivity should be at heart of region's economic strategy

 

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson says the National Economic Forum clearly highlighted the vast work that remains to roll out broadband to many rural communities in Dumfries and Galloway.

Mr Carson, who attended a roundtable event at the forum in Dumfries, centred on rural issues says many individuals and businesses are simply not enjoying the access to broadband speeds that the Scottish Government boast about.

He says that the event made clear that digital connectivity is absolutely vital if the region is to prosper in the future and attract new jobs and investment.

Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “The National Economic Forum will have left the SNP Government clear that individuals and businesses in Dumfries and Galloway simply do not feel that their access to high speed broadband is anywhere near up to scratch.

“It was the biggest issue I heard being raised time and time again at the event and while the SNP Government may boast of having hit broadband targets, the reality in rural constituencies like mine is that great disparities remain.

“In order for the region’s economy to maximise it’s potential in coming years, we must boost our digital connectivity, both in terms of broadband access as well as mobile signal.

“The needs of this region are being put top of the agenda through the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency as well as the Borderlands Deal; we must ensure that digital connectivity are at the heart of these plans.”

ENDS

Economic forum shows region must not be forgotten

 

 

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson says today’s positive words from First Minister Nicola Sturgeon must be backed up by strong action by her SNP Government in order to boost the local economy.

The Conservative MSP, who was in attendance at the National Economic Forum in Dumfries welcomed the news that the Scottish Rural Parliament will be coming to Stranraer later in the year.

He also praised the Scottish Government’s commitment to the South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, which was a Scottish Conservative manifesto commitment in the 2016 election campaign.

Mr Carson says that the unique needs of the rural communities in the region must now be driven forward by the SNP Government and the opportunity of the Scottish Rural Parliament sitting in the region must not be missed to tackle the under investment in Stranraer.

Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “I was delighted to be at the National Economic Forum in Dumfries; which clearly addressed the unique economic needs of this region.

“It is positive news that the Scottish Rural Parliament is coming to Stranraer later in the year, which offers a real opportunity for the community to have their say on the issues affecting them on a daily basis.

“For far too long there has been a lack of the required transformational investment in Stranraer.  I hope the rural parliament can help bring about a change on that front from the SNP Government.

“I am pleased that plans are driving forward for a South of Scotland Enterprise Agency, which I supported during the 2016 election campaign.

“This can help bring about real change in terms of boosting the skillset and business support in our region and I will do everything I can to ensure that the agency is delivered in a way that fits the needs of local people.

“Today’s forum was full of positive words; now I hope these words are turned into the actions by the Scottish Government and that this region is no longer forgotten .”

SNP must do more on fuel poverty

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has challenged the SNP Government to do more to tackle fuel poverty in rural areas.

The Conservative MSP was speaking in a debate surrounding energy efficiency, which resulted in the SNP Government now being made to bring forward targets to make all buildings warmer and greener, by a decade to 2030.

Mr Carson had used his speech to highlight how the SNP Government had not seriously addressed energy inefficiency for rural homes in their recently published route map, while highlighting that the target to reduce fuel poverty to less than 10% by 2040, was not good enough.

He also raised the many confusions that his rural constituents have had with many energy efficient schemes and called on the SNP Government to ensure there is confidence and trust in the schemes.

In his speech, Finlay Carson MSP said: “The route map published last week says nothing about rural homes.

“The SNP Government have failed to seriously address the issues energy inefficient homes present for rural residents.

“The SNP Government say that they are committed to removing poor energy efficiency as a driver for fuel poverty.

“However, their lack of ambition to ‘eradicate’ fuel poverty in Scotland by only committing to reduce it to less than 10% in 2040, just isn’t good enough.”

He added: “In order to achieve energy efficiency, it is also essential that consumers have confidence in and trust any Government schemes.

“The benefits are still to be felt by far too many people, who simply do not have the required information.

“It is clear that the SNP Government must work harder to be made to highlight the many benefits of installing energy efficiency measures, to encourage owner occupiers to improve the energy efficiency of their homes.”

Speaking afterwards Finlay Carson said: “It is welcome that there was cross party support which will force the SNP Government into bringing forward the energy efficient targets by a decade.

“The SNP have not been nearly ambitious enough in tackling energy inefficiency in rural homes, so I hope they will now recognise that they must be far bolder in ensuring that those living in rural constituencies like mine are not victims of fuel poverty.

“With connectivity also still a major issue in rural communities, it is vital while aiming to reach these targets, the SNP make energy schemes far easier to access and understand, rather than causing undue stress to constituents.

“I hope the SNP Government will now tackle energy efficiency far more ambitiously than they have done in recent years.”

Finlay backs cancer partnership project

 

 

Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson has welcomed the introduction of a major project designed at transforming routes to cancer treatment for local patients.

NHS Dumfries and Galloway have announced a partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support which will see the charity provide £340,000 to engage with local cancer patients and families as well as implementing improvement initiatives through health and social care programmes.

The project which will last almost two years and will see patients and carers be at the heart of informing the work and shaping any future approaches.

Commenting Finlay Carson MSP said: “This is hugely welcome news and I hope this will improve the outcomes for cancer patients and their families across the region.

“By working in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support, the health board have shown a real commitment to engaging with patients and families, in order to develop the best system that will work for them.

“It is only right that the project will be an extensive one over the next two years and I will looking closely at how the partnership engages with relevant stakeholders in order to deliver for patients.”

Mr Carson also attended a reception by Cancer Research UK in the Scottish Parliament where he was pleased to discuss strategies with the charity about beating cancer sooner.

He added: “It was good to attend the reception to learn more about the fantastic work Cancer Research UK are doing on a daily basis.

“We must ensure that no matter where people are living in Dumfries and Galloway, whether in the east or west that they have the greatest chance of beating cancer sooner.

“Through better communications and partnership working I am confident we can achieve this and I am committed to doing all I can to support those sadly diagnosed with cancer in our region.”