Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

 Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore MP, writes a regular column for newspapers in his Borders Constituency. Here is the latest edition. 

Surgeries and Shows

Over the past fortnight I have held my annual summer advice surgeries during which I have visited around 50 villages and communities across the Borders. These are an opportunity for me to hear the concerns of my constituents and are a highlight of my work as local MP.

In recent weeks I have also attended the annual rideouts, Common Ridings and Shows which take place across the Borders. This year’s have been as entertaining as ever and the favourable weather has certainly helped! Most recently, I attended the 200th Border Union Show in Kelso. It was a fantastic event and showed off the strength and innovation of our local farming industry. It was also an opportunity to catch up with local groups such as the NFUS and local farming businesses and hear any concerns they wished to bring to my attention.

The Show was a huge success and I want to congratulate everyone at the Border Union Agricultural Society for all their hard work in making its bicentenary one to remember.

Police station review

I was concerned to hear recently that Police Scotland are reviewing police station opening hours which could lead to a service reduction for areas like the Borders. Police offices provide a vital connection between local communities and the police and it would be bad news to see these services cut. A couple of weeks ago I meet with local police divisional commander Chief Superintendent Jeanette McDiarmid and raised local residents concerns about this issue. Centralisation of police services by the Scottish Government is a real worry for local people and I will continue to be in close contact with her as the review progresses.

Offshore Wind Strategy

Last week the Government launched its multi-million pound strategy for offshore wind in Scotland which has the potential to unlock £7 billion in the economy and create 30,000 jobs. Here in Berwickshire, we are ideally placed to tap into the opportunities presented by offshore developments on the east coast of Scotland, so news of this investment is certainly welcome.

I have been working with the Eyemouth Harbour Trust and other local businesses for some time to ensure the local community benefits from the Neart Na Gaoithe offshore wind development in the Firth of Forth. In a recent publication from Scottish Enterprise, Eyemouth Harbour features as a potential support port for the Forth and Tay offshore developments. This just goes to show that our work to put Eyemouth on the map for offshore renewables has paid off and as the Neart Na Gaoithe project gets underway, I have no doubt that local businesses will be able to tap into operations and maintenance opportunities.

The certainty and security provided by the Government’s strategy will further boost the Neart Na Gaoithe project and could see other projects develop in the future. These are certainly exciting times for the offshore wind industry and I look forward to the benefits it will bring to local businesses here in Berwickshire.

* Michael Moore was the Liberal Democrat MP for Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk from 1997-2015 and Secretary of State for Scotland from 2010-2013.

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This entry was posted in Op-eds, Parliament and Scotland.
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