Monday, 9 February 2009
Ayrshire politicians working together to regenerate Girvan
By: Murdoch MacDonald
MONTHS of behind the scenes discussion came to fruition last week when a unique partnership approach was launched. South Ayrshire Council, the Scottish Government and Community Planning Partners all agreed to work together to regenerate Girvan.
Local Councillors, Ministers, and Officers have had months of discussion on how to address the needs and opportunities in Girvan in a climate of economic downturn and difficult decisions about scarce resources.
Partners will now:
* Invite people in Girvan to work in partnership to address their priorities.
* Talk to major funders to encourage them to invest in Girvan.
* Combine their resources to make things happen.
Adam Ingram MSP, Minister for Children and Early Years (pictured above) said: “In the spirit of the Concordat between Scottish Government and COSLA, I and fellow Ministers want to ensure that our efforts have maximum impact in local areas. I am particularly excited about the possibilities for helping young people into opportunities, co-ordinated as never before.
“My colleague Jim Mather MSP, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism (pictured above) is also keen to help. He has agreed to talk to funders in Girvan alongside me. His Scottish Government team and mine will work with the Council and its partners to promote economic development and tourism opportunities.”
Cathy Jamieson MSP (pictured above) has confirmed that Jim Mather MSP, Minister for Enterprise, Energy and Tourism, will visit Ayrshire to address local business and trade union leaders.
The economic summit, led by Ms Jamieson will focus on major issues facing the region’s companies and workers in the current challenging economic climate.
The assurance was received after Ms Jamieson during First Minister’s Questions raised the issue of the recent announcement by FMC BioPolymer UK that 145 jobs would go by the end of the year.
Speaking following her exchange with the First Minister Alex Salmond, Ms Jamieson said: “It was disappointing to hear that the review of operations at FMC Biopolymer will result it job losses at the Girvan site. While it is encouraging that 60-70 jobs will be retained, it is very little comfort to those who will lose their positions.”
“This is why I have asked the Enterprise Minister to visit Ayrshire to discuss these challenges. It is important now that, with the cooperation of the trade unions, the Government acts to support employees who will now be seeking alternative employment.
“The Minister has confirmed that he will visit Carrick to discuss the matter, and its now simply a case of finalising arrangements.
“The seminar will be an opportunity for everyone to discuss the challenges we now face as well as a chance to raise concerns about the future.”
Ms Jamieson added that she intends to insure that all political parties combine to address current difficulties.
“This is not a party political issue, it’s about holding on to, and creating jobs in Ayrshire. That is why I will be inviting local representatives from across the political spectrum from all levels of Government to take part.”
Councillor Hugh Hunter (pictured above), the Leader of South Ayrshire Council and Chair of South Ayrshire Community Planning Partnership said: “I am delighted that the Scottish Government and Community Planning Partners have agreed to work along side the Council. There are many challenges in Girvan, but also lots of assets, including a highly motivated community and a beautiful landscape. We want this new pathfinder approach to work first in Girvan, then in other areas across South Ayrshire.”
South Ayrshire Council
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