Response 513175948

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What we want for the South of Scotland

1. Do you agree with our ambition outlined?

Please select one item
Yes
Ticked No
Don't know
Please explain your answer.
2.3: The scottish borders has no major road and rail links, a cursory glance should inform a policy-maker of this. There are no dual-carriageways or motorways; there is only one rail link into the Borders which only goes as far as Galashiels and consists of a single-line track. "Second-rate" road and rail links would be a more accuracte description. 2.4: Lots of generic buzz-words with little substance unfortunately. Nothing new in this statement, no mention of encouraging new sector growth.

2. What would you like to see for the South of Scotland?

What would you like to see for the South of Scotland?
Better road and rail links. Investment into the area from the Scottish Government to encourage new sectors of business. Support for existing business and a clear plan to achieve this. Less buzz-words, more clear, defined plans please.

Ambitions for the new South of Scotland Enterprise

3. What are your ambitions for the future economic success of the South of Scotland?

What are your ambitions for the future economic success of
Ideally, there would be an environment where well-paid high-skilled jobs are abundant that attract new blood to the borders from Scotland, the rest of the UK and from the International community. More investment into the Borders would be a welcome novelty , and hopefully the politcal will to sustain this would exist. Ideally the new development agency will be competent.

The economic context of the South of Scotland

4. What are the strengths you would like to see the Agency build on?

What are the strengths you would like to see the Agency
Decent roads and rail links please, the current ones do not suffice. Good broadband infrastructure that does not rely on wireless technology would be preferable. Better exploitation of the geographical position of the Borders. Revival of manufacturing industries that the Borders has heritage in. Jobs need to support Borderers all year round, not just in the tourist season or hunting season. Better provision in towns and villages with regards to services, as they have been steadliy stripped out of communities.

5. What are the economic challenges you would like to see the Agency address?

What are the economic challenges you would like to see the
Good broadband infrastructure that does not rely on wireless technology would be preferable. In-the-ground fibre optic to rural areas would be sensible. The low average pay of Borderers should be tackled. Communications need to improve.

Potential Activities for the South of Scotland Enterprise

6. What currently works well in the South of Scotland?

What currently works well in the South of Scotland?
Mountain biking, agriculture and small boutique shops that do not sustain viable careers for young people.

7. What would you add or take away from the potential activities that the Agency could carry out across the three areas:

a) drive forward the economy?
Upgrading the infrastructure with better road and rail links. Multi-million pound investments in new industry.
b) sustain communities?
Stop the rot of community services being ripped out of towns and villages. Improve bus services between communities for young and old alike.
c) capitalise on people and resources?
Attract people back to the Borders, not just for short stays but for work. Grow the economy, have the bold and ambitious goal of the Borders rivalling the economic outputs of other Scottish counties in the next 20 years and invest money to make it happen.

8. What would you prioritise as the key areas of activity for the Agency?

What would you prioritise as the key areas of activity for the
Regenerate exisiting industry and aim for year-round employment for Borderers. Don't be afraid of investing and don't be penny-wise and pound-foolish. Promote tourism but don't rely on it. Attract new business and industry.

9. What specific things could the Agency do to help you, your business, your sector or your community?

What specific things could the Agency do to help you, your
Better public services and better public transport.

Effective boundaries

10. What could the Agency do outwith its boundaries working with other local authorities or with agencies like Highlands and Islands Enterprise to support specific projects which benefit the South of Scotland and with national agencies?

What could the Agency do outwith its boundaries working
A lot of work should be aimed at working with Northumberland and Cumbrian county councils - see how they operate and learn from them. England is more prosperous than Scotland so more collaboration is needed to benefit the South of Scoland.

Location of the new Agency

11. Which option, either from the list above or your own suggestion, do you think offers the best way to ensure the Agency is accessible to all across the South of Scotland?

Which option, either from the list above or your own
A central location would be preferable, with smaller offices located across the South of Scotland (Hub and Spoke). Ideally, every community in the South of Scoland should be able to access the central location using public transport. If this is not possible, then it should be made possible.Technology is useful, but not at the expense of a well-staffed organisation, nor at the expense of easily accessible services by all ages and abilities. Having the Agency purely accessible digitally is ludicrous as connectivity is poor across the South of Scotland.

12. Which criteria should be used in reaching a decision about the location of the Agency?

Which criteria should be used in reaching a decision about
It needs to be accessible using public transport to anywhere in the South of Scotland.

13. If you were to use the services of this Agency, what factors are important to you in terms of reaching it?

you were to use the services of this Agency, what factors are important to you in terms of reaching it?
Transportation is vital. A good online service is useful but it must complement and not replace physical services.

14. What sort of people should be on the Board of the Agency and what sorts of skills and expertise should they have?

What sort of people should be on the Board of the Agency
Ideally, anyone that is competent would be a start. Business leaders, community leaders, industrial and agriculture leaders need to be included. Economic, environmental, scientific advisors. Union leaders too.

Other issues

15. We know that young people are less likely to stay in or move to the South of Scotland than they are other parts of the country. Do you have any comments on things the Agency could do to meet the interests of children and young people?

We know that young people are less likely to stay in or move
The Borders need jobs that sustain the career of a young person all year round. It also needsbetter funded public transportation and better broadband connectivity.

16. In delivering opportunity and growth in the South of Scotland, how can the Agency:

In delivering opportunity and growth in the South of Scotland, how can the Agency:
A prosperous South of Scotland would make it easier to achieve all three of these bullet points. The goal of the new agency shouldn't be prioritised on these areas however - this should be the remit of a different agency.

17. Do you have any other comments on how the Agency might address specific needs?

Do you have any other comments on how the Agency might
Again, these matters should be handed to another agency.

18. We want to make sure that the Agency works effectively with a wide range of key stakeholders/partner agencies to ensure that inclusive growth also enables positive social and environmental outcomes. Do you have any comments on how this should work in practice?

We want to make sure that the Agency works effectively with a
Prioritise building a better economy for the South of Scoland first and foremost.

19. Do you have any other thoughts on powers that the Agency will need?

Do you have any other thoughts on powers that the Agency
I think you're going to need more resources then you will be allocated, and that there's going to be much work being duplicated between yourself and what Scottish Enterprise have done. It's likely that you won't be able to achieve a better economy for the South of Scoland for many, many years.

20. Is there anything else you wish to say about the operation of the Agency?

Is there anything else you wish to say about the operation of
Do a good job, spend lots of money, fight for the resources required to achieve this and achieve it. Don't rely on technology to make up for spending cuts, and please take this region seriously. It's not another rung for your careers or CVs, it's peoples lives that you can improve.

About you

Are you responding as an individual or an organisation?

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