Backing our vital local services

I believe that decisions about our vital public services resources should be taken as locally as possible. Not by the Scottish Government with their top down central belt agenda. Community policing, fire and rescue services and our NHS provision really matter here in our region, particularly across our distinct rural towns and villages.

In my view it was a serious error of judgment to create a single police force for the whole of Scotland and already we have paid a high price for that decision here in Dumfries and Galloway. Too often the decisions that have been taken and measures that have been suggested do not take local views and concerns into consideration and despite the best efforts of local officers this has weakened links between the police and our communities despite the best efforts of local officers. 

We have also seen GP services put under strain and seen a shortage of NHS staff at the new DGRI. Sadly these skill shortages were both predictable and avoidable and it's time the Scottish Government focused on a proper workforce plan and on training local young people to fill these vacancies in the future. 

As your MSP, I continue to fight to protect local resources and campaign for real local accountability and decision making.