Tavish has responded to a statement issued by Highlands and Islands Enterprise following a report into the agency’s own future. The report, published last week by HIE Chairman Lorne Crerar, was commissioned after the Scottish Government revealed plans to create an overarching board to replace the respective boards of Scotland’s skills and enterprise agencies.
Commenting, Tavish said:
“So the HIE Board welcomes losing its powers.
“This statement in effect, welcomes the fact that the Crerar report states that a delivery board’s primary responsibility will be to do what the government wants it to do, and its secondary responsibility will be to the needs of the Highlands & Islands.
“The HIDB and HIE always use to stand up for the area no matter the political persuasion of the government of the day. This entire exercise will end with HIE becoming a delivery arm of central government. This is the end of the HIE Board taking strategic and budgetary decisions for the Highlands & Islands. Instead its principal responsibility will be to ask, what does the government want us to do?
“I hope in the future a different government will recreate an emboldened economic and social development agency with a board who will be able to put the area first.”