Call for more job relocations

03 February 2009

Councils and Community Councils in the Highlands and Islands have given resounding support to a call for more civil service jobs to be relocated to fragile areas in the North.

Following the success of the last administration in bringing additional jobs to the Highlands and Islands using this initiative, MSP Peter Peacock has been urging the Scottish Government to do more to build on that success.

He has written to the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, John Swinney, to ask if he is aware of the level of enthusiasm for job relocations to the Highlands and Islands.

"Job relocations have made a considerable contribution to the economy of the areas which have benefited from relocated government posts.

"The procurator fiscal service brought jobs to Dingwall, Tain and Campbeltown.

"SNH is a major employer in Inverness, Tiree saw new posts when the Crofting Building Grants and Loans Scheme was located there, Shawbost on the Western Isles is the hub for the consumer advice service, Consumer Direct and the Scottish Government’s Central inquiry Unit was located in Kinlochleven.

"However, the criteria for relocations has been dramatically altered by the SNP government ostensibly to increase sustainable economic growth – when in fact there is little evidence that the new policy is delivering any small unit relocations to the Highlands at all.

"The strong support for job relocations which was obvious from the replies I received from local authorities across the Highlands and Islands reflects the value placed on such initiatives and an appreciation of those that the previous administration achieved," said Mr Peacock.


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