Swinney warns over Pitlochry funding
Perthshire North MSP, Mr John Swinney, has today emphasised the need for further consultation with Pitlochry residents over the allocation of £383,000 of funding.
The funding, awarded by the Scottish Government as part of their Town Centre Fund, originally required projects to be submitted by the end of March 2020. Following an intervention by Mr Swinney this deadline was extended until March 2021, in order to give the council more time to decide upon a proposal that commanded wide backing from across the town
However, there has been no indication that Perth and Kinross Council are planning to re-open the consultation process and fully engage with the local community.
Commenting, Mr Swinney said:
“I am disappointed by the lack of urgency shown by Perth and Kinross Council over the allocation of this funding.
“I was delighted to secure a twelve month extension for Pitlochry’s funding application because I believed this would give local residents the chance to have their views properly heard, therefore ensuring that the final proposal enjoyed wide support across the community.
“However, there has thus far been no indication that the council are willing to re-open the consultation process. Rather, they seem content to press forward with the existing proposals that failed to win significant backing from local residents.
“Indeed, I have even heard talk of the funding being re-allocated to other towns across Perth and Kinross, should one of the existing projects not be seen as acceptable. Such a move would be an affront to the residents of Pitlochry.
“It is therefore imperative that Perth and Kinross Council immediately guarantee that the full £383,000 of Scottish Government funding will be allocated to Pitlochry.
“Furthermore, I would expect to see the council move quickly to take advantage of the twelve month extension that I secured on their behalf. This extended deadline was not granted merely to delay the existing proposals for a year, but rather to give the council the necessary time to fully engage with the local community over how best to use this funding. Thus far, I have seen no evidence that this extra time is being used productively.”
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