Ambitious for Inverclyde

February 28th, 2011

It was cruel sleight of hand which exposed the Scottish Government’s lack of ambition for our community.

Earlier this year, the Finance Secretary John Swinney slashed our regeneration budget in Inverclyde by 70 per cent, jeopardising our plans for the area.

Caught with his hand in the cookie jar, the minister then claimed he would partially re-instate our fund yet only a fraction of the money taken from us was put back in the pot.

Instead of a 70 per cent cut, Mr Swinney expected us to be grateful for a 61 per cent cut.

Meanwhile, the Scottish Government is carrying out a 'discussion' on the future of regeneration funding at a time we need real action.

I am suspicious this is little more than a smokescreen that will further undermine the investment that Inverclyde has benefitted from.

It is clear that the Scottish Government does not share our ambitious plans for the area and are intent on diverting the money earmarked for projects in Inverclyde to pet projects in other parts of Scotland.

We can be proud of the tremendous progress we have made in our schools, our housing and in modernising our waterfront.

Faced with industrial decline, depopulation and a negative image, we have made great strides in creating a better Inverclyde to live in.

But it is still only a job half done and we must ensure we continue to build on the progress we have made over the last decade.

There is no doubt that difficult decisions lie ahead as a result of the mistakes of the bankers and the financial predicament the country is in.

But that should not be used as an excuse to dash our ambitions for a smarter, fairer and safer Inverclyde.