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Recovery in focus

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By Marc Mclean, Local Democracy Reporter
Recovery in focus

The region’s recovery from Covid – and how Dumfries and Galloway can contribute to a national plan for rebuilding Scotland – will come into focus next week.

The Scottish Government recently published its Covid Recovery Strategy, with the tagline ‘For A Fairer Future’.

The 47-page document outlines a plan to rebuild communities over the next 18 months and has three key outcomes: financial security for low-income households, the wellbeing of children and young people, and good, green jobs and fair work.

The report will be tabled at Dumfries and Galloway Council’s response, renewal and recovery committee next Tuesday (October 26), where councillors will discuss implementing the Scottish Government’s strategy at a local level.

John Swinney MSP, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Covid Recovery, wrote in the report: “This strategy focuses on the efforts we require to tackle inequality and disadvantage.

“If our people are secure and have firm foundations then our communities, businesses, economy and society will be more resilient.

“It will address the systemic inequalities made worse by Covid, make progress towards a wellbeing economy, and accelerate inclusive person-centred public services.

“This cannot occur in a vacuum. To achieve these aims we require urgent action across society.

“From government, local and national, from community groups, charities and voluntary organisations and from businesses large and small. All must play their part, and none can do so in isolation.”

He continued: “Over the last 18 months life has changed markedly. Over the next 18 months there is an opportunity to drive a more positive change, but we must move at pace.

“By working together over that timescale with the same energy, imagination, and urgency as we approached the pandemic, we can achieve that change and drive a recovery that delivers for all of Scotland.”

The council had already agreed to develop this region’s Covid recovery plan through its community planning partnership, which council officers say “very much aligns with the vision of the Covid Recovery Strategy”.

Mark Thomson, the council’s senior manager for response, renew and recovery, has produced a report on the matter for next week’s committee.

He wrote: “The government strategy clearly highlights the need for partnership working to take forward recovery, particularly emphasising the role of businesses, third sector and communities, in addition to public sector partners.

“The publication of the Covid Recovery Strategy will be reported to the next community planning executive group and subsequently community planning partnership in order to help inform priority areas, where appropriate, to be taken forward which both align with local circumstances and the objectives as set out in the national document.”

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