Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
John Finnie MSP, Rural & Island Communities spokesperson for the Scottish Greens, today (23 Feb) gave a cautious welcome to a report which he said could “pave the way” for the retention of an autonomous Highlands & Islands Enterprise.
The report, by Professor Lorne Crerar, into a new strategic board covering Scotland’s enterprise agencies recommends replacing existing agency boards with repurposed Delivery Boards with smaller memberships and more focussed remits.
John Finnie, Scottish Green MSP for the Highlands & Islands, said:
“Whilst it is early days, this report can pave the way for the retention of the Board of HIE and importantly HIE’s cultural and social responsibilities.
“Concerns about HIE’s future were never about not wanting them to collaborate with other enterprise bodies such Scottish Enterprise, nor about having shared public objectives. Indeed, the successful conclusion to the potential uncertainty that was faced by the Alcan site exemplified the importance of joint working.
“What was and remains important was local decision making. Basically, who can write cheques. I am grateful to the Cabinet Secretary for his willingness to engage on this issue with me.
“Whilst the devil will always be in the detail I have growing confidence that this report will facilitate the retention of an autonomous HIE board.”
Enterprise and skills review: report by Professor Lorne Crerar