Business views queried

CANDIDATES for election to Angus Council are being urged to state clearly where they stand on the growth of local economies.

And in town, the Review continues to hear calls for a better link between Montrose and the A90 dual carriageway to Aberdeen and to all points south.

The local branch of the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) asks candidates to make a commitment on local growth.

The FSB has produced a local government election manifesto, ‘Taking centre stage: the role of local government in Scotland’s economic recovery’ which makes the case for councils to co-ordinate across departments to help local firms.

The Federation says it doesn’t expect Angus Council to transform the local economy single-handedly, but it does expect local government to do all it can to support business growth.

Graham Bradley, chairman of the FSB’s Dundee and Angus branch, said: “Everyone knows that Scottish local authorities are having to do more with less. But in the scramble to save money while still delivering good quality services, they can’t lose sight of the key role our local authority can play in helping the business community grow the local economy.”

The Federation, with 1,000 members in Angus and Dundee, calls for councils to revamp their approach to local regulation, to use public procurement spend more effectively to develop local economies, and to tackle youth unemployment by placing greater emphasis on creating jobs in local businesses.

Further, the FSB argues for a number of local authority actions to help turn around Scotland’s town centres and high streets and pushes for planning reform that helps small businesses process their small scale applications.

Again focusing on Montrose, welcome safety improvements are taking place on the A935 Montrose to Brechin road, but there still remains the question of negotiating the streets of Brechin. Previous plans, to create a form of bypass, appear to have been abandoned by Angus Council.

Montrose’s economy is one of the success stories of Angus, with particular emphasis on oil, and enhanced links with the trunk road network could only encourage more development.

People our reporters speak to would like to hear whether or not the six candidates would place such a road link high on their personal agendas.

The Review allows candidates space each week to present themselves to the public, and would be pleased to include answers to that question.