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Better Together canvas Dumfries

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown went door to door in Lochside this morning as he continues to engage the public about Labour's involvement with the Better Together campaign.

'We can't sit back and allow what looks like a very good lead in current polls to just say well we are home and dry and everything will be fine. We need to hear what people are saying, we need to listen to the concerns they have and try and explain our interpretations of facts and figures.'

– Russell Brown MP

The canvassing comes ahead of the publication of the Independence White Paper on Tuesday by the SNP.

Local MP welcomes opening of Stranraer's West Pier

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has welcomed the official opening of Stranraer's West Pier.

The refurbished Pier has been opened following a £650,000 investment by Dumfries and Galloway Council.

"Dumfries and Galloway council are to be congratulated on the work to bring this historic pier back into public use.

"There has been a lot of debate locally about what the projects in Stranraer the council should and shouldn't spend its limited resources on, but I believe the West Pier refurbishment has widespread community support.

"However, the real challenge now is the regeneration of the East Pier and the wider Waterfront.

"The council simply can't do that on its own. Scottish Government Ministers need to do more than simply turn up for a photocall on the Waterfront."

– Russell Brown MP, Dumfries and Galloway, Labour

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MP steps into Dumfries immigration row

An MP has stepped in to help a headteacher who is facing deportation, despite living in our region for nearly ten years.

Russell Brown has written the Home Officer supporting David MacIsaac who is American by birth - but who now lives in Dumfries.

Mr MacIsaac was turned down for residency, because the Home Office is unconvinced that his marriage to a British woman is genuine.

Russell Brown "honoured" by appointment

“The next year is one of the biggest is Scotland’s history as we decide where our future lies. Do we separate Scotland from the rest of the United Kingdom or maintain the Union.

"It is therefore a great honour to be appointed as a Shadow Minister in Labour’s Scotland Office team and to be asked to play a key role in making the case that Scotland is better together.

"However, as well as making the case for Scotland to remain as part of the UK, I will also be focusing on holding the UK Tory led Coalition’s Government to account. These are really tough times for Scots.

"No more so than here in Dumfries and Galloway. We are in the midst of a jobs crisis, living standards are falling and people are really worried about the future. More than ever, people in our area need a strong voice fighting their corner”

– Russell Brown MP, Dumfries and Galloway, Labour

Russell Brown MP appointed to Cabinet in reshuffle

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has been appointed as Shadow Scotland Office Minister, as part of Ed Miliband’s Shadow Cabinet reshuffle which took place this week.

Russell Brown will join Shadow Secretary of State for Scotland Margaret Curran in shadowing the newly appointed Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael MP as well as his Deputy David Mundell MP.

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Where next after the vote on Syria? Around The House at 11:35pm

Join Helen Ford and guests at 11:35pm Credit: ITV News Border

It's been a dramatic week for MPs, who were recalled to Westminster for the vote on possible military action in Syria.

In Around The House, we look at the aftermath of the Government's defeat and ask what it will mean for the party leaders.

Joining the debate are the Labour MP for Dumfries and Galloway, Russell Brown, along with the Conservative member for Scarborough and Whitby, Robert Goodwill and the Redcar Lib Dem Ian Swales.

MP asks for help from local organisations

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown has invited a number of local organisations to come together and help find a way of creating more employment in the area.

Members from Dumfries and Galloway Council, the UK Government Department of Work and Pensions and Chambers of Commerce are attending a jobs summit in Dumfries after Mr Brown raised concerns over the state of the local economy.

Mr Brown said:

"Amidst all the national debate over whether the UK economy is or is not growing again, what is clear is there has been a seismic decline in the local economy over the past two years, which has seen unemployment rise above the rest of UK and average wages plummet.

"The UK Government often argues that the loss of public sector jobs isn't a problem, because up to a million private sector jobs have been created across the UK to replace them.

"However, when you analyse those figures closely you see that in Dumfries and Galloway the number of private sector jobs is actually falling, and this is on top of the huge cuts in jobs in the public sector such as the council.

"Our region is losing well paid jobs in manufacturing on an almost weekly basis at the moment, and what jobs are being created tend to be lower paid, hence the fact that average wages are also on the decline locally."

– Russell Brown MP, Dumfries and Galloway, Labour

Dumfries MP fears for local economy

Russell Brown MP, Dumfries and Galloway, Labour Credit: ITV News Border

A Dumfriesshire MP is holding a cross-party jobs summit after raising serious concerns over the state of the local economy.

Russell Brown said that south-west Scotland is heading towards becoming an "economic basket case", with falling wages and high unemployment levels.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that Dumfries and Galloway is now the lowest paid region in Scotland, with the average weekly earnings of just £400 (by workplace).

This falls short in comparison to the Scottish average of £497.60 and the UK average of £507.60.

The region has also seen a fall in earnings since 2010 at a time the Scottish and UK average earnings have increased.

Deputy First Minister "should not come empty handed" says Dumfries MP

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown warned Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon not to come to Stranraer "empty handed".

Mr Brown wrote to Ms Sturgeon asking her to use the visit to announce significant Scottish Government investment, to help boost the regeneration of the town.

"It has taken Nicola Sturgeon seven months to visit Stranraer, so we can only hope that when she does come to the town she isn't empty handed. More than ever Stranraer needs a major injection of Government funding to really kick start the regeneration of the town.

"She could go a long way to showing a commitment to Stranraer by re-instating the £8 million Scottish Enterprise originally promised for regeneration but failed to deliver on".

– Russell Brown MP, Dumfries and Galloway, Labour
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