UK GOVERNMENT MUST GO BEYOND TALKS – IT’S TIME FOR ACTION
Sustained pressure from Scottish National Party (SNP) has forced Theresa May to finally begin looking at an Ayrshire Growth Deal. However, the Prime Minister must go beyond talks and take action to support the Ayrshire economy, the SNP said.
Kenneth Gibson MSP and Patricia Gibson MP have led the demands for an Ayrshire Growth Deal, which has been vigorously supported by the Scottish Government’s Economy Secretary, Keith Brown.
Last year, Patricia Gibson led a debate on the issue at Westminster and the Ayrshire Growth Deal has also been raised at Prime Minister’s Questions and First Minister’s Questions, as well as with individual Ministers at Holyrood and Westminster.
While the tentative support from the Prime Minister is welcome, the SNP demands that the UK government must go further than simply offering warm words and make the Growth Deal a reality, including agreeing to a timetable for delivery, which The Scottish Government and three Ayrshire councils have sought since 2016.
Commenting, SNP MSP for Cunninghame North, Kenneth Gibson, said:
“This is welcome progress from the UK government, but the Tories must go further than just offering to 'formally begin talks with local partners' for a new Growth Deal for Ayrshire.
“The Prime Minister must agree to a timetable for delivery, which the Scottish Government and three Ayrshire councils have sought since 2016.
“Ayrshire needs this Growth Deal and while the Scottish Government have been strong backers of these proposals from the beginning, the Tories have blocked progress on a deal again and again. Ayrshire’s had enough talking, it’s time for action.”
SNP MP for North Ayrshire and Arran, Patricia Gibson, added:
“The SNP has been at the forefront of pushing for this Growth Deal and I’ve consistently raised the issue at Westminster, including leading a debate on the Growth Deal and questioning the Prime Minister herself.
“The Tories need to stop just talking about an Ayrshire Growth Deal and get down to business. The Scottish Government is ready when they are; it’s time for some action to support our communities and the Ayrshire economy.”
Patricia Gibson question to the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, David Gauke MP on 17th Jan 2017:
Would the Chief Secretary to the Treasury agree that the Ayrshire growth deal would generate investment and create the economic conditions to achieve a step change throughout Ayrshire, an area of huge potential? Will he commit today to working actively and constructively with the four Ayrshire MPs, the three Ayrshire local authorities and the Scottish Government to support the deal, to the benefit of the whole county of Ayrshire?
Patricia Gibson Debate on the Ayrshire Growth Deal – 19th Jan 2017:
Patricia Gibson Question to the Prime Minister - 19th April 2017:
Will the Prime Minister join the Scottish Government, North Ayrshire Council and all Ayrshire local authorities by today pledging to support the Ayrshire growth deal, which requires £350 million of targeted investment to regenerate Ayrshire and improve the lives and prospects of all its people?
Patricia Gibson Question to the Sec of State for Scotland, David Mundell MP - 07th March 2018:
Does the Secretary of State share my frustration at the lack of progress on the Ayrshire growth deal? Does he agree that it is time to get on and kick-start the deal for all the people of Ayrshire?
Patricia Gibson also wrote to David Mundell on 10/11/16 and again on 8/3/18 urging progress on Ayrshire Growth Deal, wrote to Chancellor of the Exchequer on 10/11/16 in advance of his Autumn Statement urging funding for the Ayrshire Growth Deal, and with other Ayrshire MPs met with the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Minister, Greg Clark MP on 7/01/16.
This year alone, Kenneth Gibson raised the Ayrshire Growth Deal at Topical Questions on 09 January, General Questions on 22 February and in debate on 27 March.