Cabinet Secretary appointments will benefit South Scotland

South of Scotland MSP Emma Harper has welcomed all of the Cabinet Minister appointments made by the First Minister last week and what they can bring to South Scotland region.

These include Mairi Gougeon on securing the position as Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs, Humza Yousef as the new Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care and, Shona Robinson as Cabinet Secretary for Communities, Social Security and Equalities as well as Michael Matheson for his appointment to continue as Transport Secretary.

Rural Affairs
There will be the creation of a new £15 million fund to support food processing and manufacture to develop local supply chains and transition to low or zero carbon operations.
The £6.2 million Rural Tourism Infrastructure Fund will continue with a further investment of £10 million into wider initiatives including rural hotel infrastructure, and the deployment of Seasonal Rangers to encourage responsible tourism in rural hot-spots.
Fighting the Uk government on trade deals for Brexit.
A programme of improvements to the region’s crucial arterial routes, the A75 and A77 will continue.
There is a £6 million commitment to the Stranraer Waterfront
A commitment to implement the recommendations from the South Scotland Strategic Transport Review which the establishment of rail links between Stranraer and Cairnryan and Dumfries to Stranraer.
The NHS will see a 20% increase in investment. This includes a pay rise for NHS health and social care staff in addition to the ‘thank you’payment.
A National Care Service will be established to oversee the delivery of care, improve standards, ensure enhanced pay and conditions for workers and provide better support for unpaid carers in recognition of the tough and selfless role they have.
The Scottish Government will increase direct investment of 25% into mental health, a top priority particularly due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it has had on day-to-day.
A fast track cancer diagnostic centre in the Dumfries & Galloway health board area will better support patients with non-specific symptoms with NHS Dumfries and Galloway to be one of the first three up and running by the end of May.
Up to £6 million for the redevelopment of the Stranraer waterfront

For more information on the SNP Scottish Government’s Manifesto visit <>

Ms Harper commented;

“As I made clear during the election campaign, my number one priority is recovery from the pandemic. I am also going to work, including across party, to ensure our SNP Government take forward their manifesto commitments to the South Scotland Region.

“These commitments are many and cover the most important aspects of rural affairs such as health and transport and infrastructure. I am excited by the projects which will be taken forward to support the South of Scotland to flourish and grow”.

“Dumfries & Galloway is a fantastic region for locals and visitors alike. As we move through the recovery period from covid-19 I will be working closely with the new Cabinet Secretaries in post to ensure our businesses an constituents’ voices are heard. There’s lot of work to be done and I have already been in touch with businesses, community groups and stakeholders across the region to get the ball rolling post-election.”