Ministerial role would give '˜legitimacy' to Borderlands growth deal spending

A Berwick councillor has welcomed Northumberland County Council's call for the appointment of a Borderlands minister in support of the area's growth deal.

Friday, 21st September 2018, 08:19 am
Updated Wednesday, 19th September 2018, 18:21 pm
Coun Gregah Roughead, who proposed the Borderlands motion.

The Borderlands Partnership brings together the five cross-border local authorities of Carlisle City Council, Cumbria County Council, Dumfries and Galloway Council, Northumberland County Council and Scottish Borders Council to promote the economic growth of the area that straddles the border.

In its Autumn Budget statement last year, the UK Government promised to work with partners across the area to work towards a Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal.

Coun Gregah Roughead, member for Berwick West with Ord, said: “The emerging Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal from Government is positive news and poses a great opportunity for Northumberland and the wider region.

“With a pot of money that could potentially total several hundred million, having an Under-Secretary of State working with stakeholders means they can provide a vital link of democratic legitimacy and accountability between those overseeing this budget and communities across the border area to ensure every penny is put to good use and spent properly on projects for the benefit of the region.”

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He added: “The Anglo-Scottish border region has historically and systematically been neglected by Governments comprised of all political creeds for a generation. Because of this, the Borderlands area also representing 10% of the UK land mass and being an area that is so unique in terms of our history, assets and needs; why shouldn’t our area have its own Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State promoting and making a crucial noise for the border region down in Whitehall at the heart of the UK Government decision making process.

“If the Prime Minister and Government are minded to agree to this proposal then the last insult the region needs after being caught between the battle of bureaucratic ping pong between the Parliaments and Governments of Westminster and Holyrood, is for an out of touch politician not from the Borderlands Inclusive Growth Deal geographical area parachuted in and appointed to the role.”