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Parliament to hear cross-border plans in Galashiels

The Scottish Affairs Committee is in Galashiels today Credit: ITV Border

A UK Parliament committee is in Galashiels today to scrutinise issues faced by businesses on the border.

The Scottish Affairs Committee will hear about problems facing businesses and residents of the border regions in Scotland and cross-border issues.

Among the speaker's are Michael Moore MP and Jack Clark, convener of Scottish Borders Chamber of Commerce.

Moore calls for greater safety measures on the A7

Safety on the A7 was the overriding focus of a meeting at Falahill earlier this week between local MP Michael Moore and key organisations in the construction of the Borders railway.

Mr Moore convened the meeting at one of the busiest construction points and was joined by the Director of Environment and Infrastructure at Scottish Borders Council, the Network Rail Project Director, the Head of the Construction team at Contractor BAM and the local police inspector for the area.

“I have been contacted by numerous people about the state of the A7. This meeting with the most senior decision makers involved in the construction and monitoring of the railway saw all present make a commitment to safety above all else. Over the course of the meeting, we had an extended discussion about the issues of white line visibility, signage and traffic management. All present stressed that the liaison between Network Rail, the contractors BAM, and Scottish Borders Council, will be closer and more regular and road safety will be of paramount importance”.

– Michael Moore, MP for Berwickshire


Michael Moore: "No evidence" that Scots independence debate will descend into identity battle

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, is expected to say that the Scottish independence debate will not descend into a battle about identity.

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore Credit: PA

Mr Moore is due to speak at a fringe meeting of the Liberal Democrat Conference, which is taking place in Glasgow.

The referendum on Scotland's future will be held on 18th September 2014.

Mr Moore is expected to say that the debate will not become a wrangle over 'Scottishness'.

Secretary of State for Scotland: "David McLetchie will be sorely missed"

The Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore has issued the following statement regarding the death of former Scottish Conservative Party leader David McLetchie.

"David McLetchie will be sorely missed by those across and outwith the political spectrum.

"He was an articulate, clever and engaging man, with a passion for debate and a positive future for Scotland within the United Kingdom.

"My thoughts are with his wife and family."

– Michael Moore, MP

Borders MP backs crackdown on nuisance calls

MP Michael Moore has welcomed the new campaign to tackle nuisance calls Credit: ITV News

The MP for the Scottish Borders, Michael Moore, has today announced his support for a Government campaign to crackdown on nuisance calls and texts.

It follows the launch of an action plan last week by Ofcom and the Information Commissioners Office outlining how the Government and regulators plan to tackle nuisance calls.

The Borders MP has welcomed the move, saying that the issue of nuisance calls and texts is one that can prove particularly intimidating to his constituents:

“A number of my constituents have contacted me in recent months about nuisance calls because, particularly for older people, they can be extremely frustrating and intimidating.

“I welcome this news that the UK Government and regulators are working together to tackle this issue.

"For too long, Borderers have had to put up with nuisance calls so it’s good to see that action is finally being taken.

“The Government has committed to bringing forward legislation in the autumn to strengthen the regulators and allow them to share intelligence about firms responsible for nuisance calls.

He also suggested how those affected can speed up the campaign.

“To make this as effective as possible, regulators need help to identify the companies responsible. To do this, I want to encourage Borderers to register their complaints through the Which? online complaints tool at** **”

Borders MP "deeply concerned" about court closures

An MP from the Borders has written to the Justice Secretary Kenny MacKaskill to express his concerns about possible court closures in the Borders.

This is the second time that Michael Moore has done so, the first being after plans were proposed to close courts in Duns, Selkirk and Peebles.

The Borders MP believes that the plans could reduce the speed of, and accessibility to justice for victims of crime in the region.

The Scottish Court Service has since decided to keep the Selkirk Court open but plans remain to close those in Peebles and Duns.

A consultation was launched on these proposals and closed at the end of last month - the findings of which are due to be published in the spring.

Should the SCS decide to recommend court closures following the consultation, the final decision would be made by the Scottish Parliament.

“While I welcome that the proposal to close the court in Selkirk was not included in the consultation, I am still deeply concerned about the plan to close the court at Duns.

Such a move would restrict access to justice for local people and cut a service that delivers local, accessible and efficient justice to communities across Berwickshire.

This is why I am fully backing the campaign to save the court and I will do all I can to prevent this closure from coming to fruition."

– Michael Moore, MP

“Last year a number of my constituents contacted me about this issue and I wrote to Kenny MacAskill.

Having received further letters of concern from local groups and individuals in Berwickshire, I have written again to Mr MacAskill this week to once again express my grave concerns about these plans.”

– Michael Moore, MP


Scottish Secretary welcomes help for rural motorists

The Berwickshire MP and Scottish Secretary Michael Moore has said motorists across the Borders will welcome the decision by the Chancellor to abandon a planned 3p rise in fuel duty, due in January:

"I think that it's particularly important that the Chancellor has abandoned the proposed fuel duty increase. That will help motorsits across the south of Scotland and the north of England, and in rural areas.

"As well as that, we've got a cut to people's taxes- taking low and middle income tax payers out of tax all together and reducing the burden on others.

"For people across the south of Scotland and the north of England that's very important."

– Michael Moore, Berwickshire MP and Scottish Secretary

New contact centre could create 200 jobs

The Secretary of State for Scotland, Michael Moore, will officially open a new Sykes contact centre in Galashiels, which could create up to 200 new jobs.

He'll be visiting Sykes in Galashiels as part of his Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk constituency.

Forty staff have already been hired to assist with calls and enquiries on behalf of Argos.

Sykes have been operating from its Netherdale warehouse for over 30 years, providing storage handling and distribution services to the Borders town.

A new contact centre is part of the firm's expansion plans, meaning up to 200 new jobs could be created by 2014.

Sykes received almost 200 applications from job seekers when the initial 40 vacancies were advertised.

"Usually the ration between applications to jobs is about four to one but this time it was much more.

"The applications far outweighed the number of positions we had available.

"That is a good thing from our point of view because we have all these names on file so when we are look to start increasing the contact centre element we will have a lot of people to contact."

– Douglas Watt, Co-manager of Sykes' Galashiels branch
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