Swinney to see Carrick plight at first-hand

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The struggling economy in Carrick is attracting some high-powered attention as Finance Secretary John Swinney is drafted in for talks.

Mr Swinney, the Scottish government’s Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, will visit Girvan next week to discuss local economic development in the Carrick area.

Invited by Labour MP for Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock, Sandra Osborne, Mr Swinney will meet elected rep­resentatives on a cross-party basis at the Carrick Buildings on the town’s Henrietta Street on August 16.

The meeting follows concerns over redundancies, with 60 jobs at risk after concrete manufacturer Solway Precast – a major employer of workers living between Stranraer and Maybole – announced its restructuring last year, and negotiations with unions over job losses at one of Nestlé’s Girvan plants on-going.

Mrs Osborne said she was delighted that Mr Swinney had agreed to meet.

“I am very aware that the local people want to see their elected representatives working constructively together on matters of great importance to the community and I am grateful to all colleagues for their co-operation,” she said.

Carrick MSP Adam Ingram added: “It’s good that the Finance Secretary is coming down to the area to hear first-hand what our concerns are about economic development in the area.

“I hope to get across to him the need for jobs, employment and economic activity in this area, and highlight the opportunities that there are here.

“Clearly, what we want to do is support local business as much as possible and it will be good to hear what he has to say about that.”

Councillor Alec Oattes for Girvan and South Carrick said he was also pleased the meeting had been set up. “We can only make progress if we all work together and take forward the economic wellbeing of the area,” he said.

Mr Swinney himself said he was looking forward to next week’s visit.

“The Scottish Government is doing all we can within our current powers to stimulate growth and to provide the most supportive environment for business anywhere in the UK,” he said.

“It is clear, however, that much more could be achieved and that the UK Government’s failure to give the green light to capital investment is hampering progress.”

Local businesspeople who would like their views put forward at the meeting should contact Sandra Osborne’s office on 01292 262906, or by emailing osbornes@parliament.uk.