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PARLIAMENT BACKS LEVEN MSP'S CRITIQUE OF CITY DEAL

Publised date : 08 Jan 2018

 

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee today published a substantive report into Scotland’s city deals, highlighting Fife Council’s failure to ask communities what they actually wanted. 

 

The report addresses a lack of transparency over the deal, describing the process as “opaque.” It further identifies the failure of Fife Council’s Co-Leader, Labour’s David Ross, to argue for the Levenmouth Rail project during critical preliminary stages of the city deal process. 

 

Cllr Ross was the Leader of Fife Council during that time and the authority was run by the Labour Party until last year. 

 

There is substantial evidence that the Levenmouth Rail link would sustain and grow the local economy whilst also supporting local housing development and community facilities.

 

Leven’s MSP, Jenny Gilruth, first criticised Fife Council’s welcoming of the Edinburgh City Deal back in July, describing it then as a ‘missed opportunity’ for Fife. Commenting in response to today’s publication, the MSP said: 

 

“This Cross Party Scottish Parliament Report highlights the failure of Labour to argue for the inclusion of the Levenmouth Rail link in the Edinburgh city regional deal from the outset. 

 

“The report, which studies city deals across Scotland, clearly demonstrates the benefit of transport links driving economic growth. A fact that makes common sense in Levenmouth - Scotland’s largest area with no direct rail link.

 

In the report, campaign group Transform Scotland were also critical of the issue of project selection. Commenting that choices were:

 

“shrouded in a degree of secrecy on the basis of being sensitive, or confidential, at least until they are agreed" and that, "even after agreement, some of the transport projects are vague and non-specific" (section 90).

 

The FSB further highlighted the lack of business representation in the Deal selection process. Businesses across Levenmouth have backed repeated calls for the rail line’s reinstatement. This was recently reiterated by Jenny Gilruth MSP in her Scottish Parliament member’s debate last year. (Link below) 

 

Gilruth was keen to highlight the lack of public engagement in the City Deal process across Fife. The MSP said:

 

“Perhaps the most startling aspect of this report is the idea that not nearly enough was done to consult with local communities. Had this happened in Fife, the then Labour-led Council would have understood the huge appetite and compelling demand for the Rail link.

 

“As the town’s MSP I will continue the fight for the reinstatement of Leven’s Rail Link. 

I believe that it’s not too late to argue for funding from the city deal process. But we now do so with one hand behind our back, because of Labour’s failure to make the case from day one. 

 

“I’m pleased the report acknowledges the vital link between transport links and economic growth and I look forward to continuing to work alongside the Levenmouth Rail Campaign to drive the Rail Link forward - at all levels of Government.”

 

 

ENDS. 

 

For more info contact Karen Newton 01313485792 

 

 

Notes

 

The full report is available on the committees pages of the scottish Parliament website:

 

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/local-govt-committee.aspx

 

Jenny Gilruth MSP’s member’s debate from 2017 highlights support from Diageo, Pflaufer & Donaldson Timber for the Rail Line’s reinstatement: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/sp/?id=2017-09-27.20.2

 

5 things you need to know about the committee report: 

 

1. Committee report concludes that procedure around prioritising key projects was “opaque” and could have been much clearer.

 

Secondly report concludes not nearly enough consultation with local communities and businesses over what they actual want.

 

IMG_1153.jpeg

 

  1. Parliament report outlines that one of the five main drivers of economic growth across all of Scotland’s city deals are Transport links.

 

IMG_1157.jpeg

 

  1. Environmental group slam city deals for not doing enough to promote inclusive and sustainable growth.

 

IMG_1154.jpeg

 

  1. Labour’s David ROSS suggests that the reason he didn’t ask for Levenmouth rail to be included was because he was discouraged from doing so by Scottish Government officials

 

IMG_1156.jpeg

 

 

  1. The Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for the Economy Keith Brown flatly denied this saying Labour never argued for the projects inclusion. 

 

IMG_1155.jpeg

 

 

The Scottish Parliament’s Local Government and Communities Committee today published a substantive report into Scotland’s city deals, highlighting Fife Council’s failure to ask communities what they actually wanted. 

 

The report addresses a lack of transparency over the deal, describing the process as “opaque.” It further identifies the failure of Fife Council’s Co-Leader, Labour’s David Ross, to argue for the Levenmouth Rail project during critical preliminary stages of the city deal process. 

 

Cllr Ross was the Leader of Fife Council during that time and the authority was run by the Labour Party until last year. 

 

There is substantial evidence that the Levenmouth Rail link would sustain and grow the local economy whilst also supporting local housing development and community facilities.

 

Leven’s MSP, Jenny Gilruth, first criticised Fife Council’s welcoming of the Edinburgh City Deal back in July, describing it then as a ‘missed opportunity’ for Fife. Commenting in response to today’s publication, the MSP said: 

 

“This Cross Party Scottish Parliament Report highlights the failure of Labour to argue for the inclusion of the Levenmouth Rail link in the Edinburgh city regional deal from the outset. 

 

“The report, which studies city deals across Scotland, clearly demonstrates the benefit of transport links driving economic growth. A fact that makes common sense in Levenmouth - Scotland’s largest area with no direct rail link.

 

In the report, campaign group Transform Scotland were also critical of the issue of project selection. Commenting that choices were:

 

“shrouded in a degree of secrecy on the basis of being sensitive, or confidential, at least until they are agreed" and that, "even after agreement, some of the transport projects are vague and non-specific" (section 90).

 

The FSB further highlighted the lack of business representation in the Deal selection process. Businesses across Levenmouth have backed repeated calls for the rail line’s reinstatement. This was recently reiterated by Jenny Gilruth MSP in her Scottish Parliament member’s debate last year. (Link below) 

 

Gilruth was keen to highlight the lack of public engagement in the City Deal process across Fife. The MSP said:

 

“Perhaps the most startling aspect of this report is the idea that not nearly enough was done to consult with local communities. Had this happened in Fife, the then Labour-led Council would have understood the huge appetite and compelling demand for the Rail link.

 

“As the town’s MSP I will continue the fight for the reinstatement of Leven’s Rail Link. 

I believe that it’s not too late to argue for funding from the city deal process. But we now do so with one hand behind our back, because of Labour’s failure to make the case from day one. 

 

“I’m pleased the report acknowledges the vital link between transport links and economic growth and I look forward to continuing to work alongside the Levenmouth Rail Campaign to drive the Rail Link forward - at all levels of Government.”

 

 

ENDS. 

 

For more info contact Karen Newton 01313485792 

 

 

Notes

 

The full report is available on the committees pages of the scottish Parliament website:

 

http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/CurrentCommittees/local-govt-committee.aspx

 

Jenny Gilruth MSP’s member’s debate from 2017 highlights support from Diageo, Pflaufer & Donaldson Timber for the Rail Line’s reinstatement: https://www.theyworkforyou.com/sp/?id=2017-09-27.20.2

 

5 things you need to know about the committee report: 

 

1. Committee report concludes that procedure around prioritising key projects was “opaque” and could have been much clearer.

 

Secondly report concludes not nearly enough consultation with local communities and businesses over what they actual want.

 

IMG_1153.jpeg

 

  1. Parliament report outlines that one of the five main drivers of economic growth across all of Scotland’s city deals are Transport links.

 

IMG_1157.jpeg

 

  1. Environmental group slam city deals for not doing enough to promote inclusive and sustainable growth.

 

IMG_1154.jpeg

 

  1. Labour’s David ROSS suggests that the reason he didn’t ask for Levenmouth rail to be included was because he was discouraged from doing so by Scottish Government officials

 

IMG_1156.jpeg

 

 

  1. The Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for the Economy Keith Brown flatly denied this saying Labour never argued for the projects inclusion. 

 

IMG_1155.jpeg

 

 

Local Reporters, East Fife Mail, Glenrothes Gazette, Courier (Fife), LOCAL GOV
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