20 Sep 2013
Reviving Dunfermline’s town centre will be one of the priorities set out by the Scottish Conservative candidate for the upcoming Dunfermline by-election.
James Reekie launched his campaign today at the town’s Kingsgate Shopping Centre, saying he will fight a range of Scottish Government measures which have hampered businesses in the constituency.
The 22-year-old, who lives and was raised in the town, said the SNP’s “triple whammy” of damaging business initiatives has resulted in a number of empty units on Dunfermline’s high street.
He wants to see a town centre regeneration fund created to help the area, making the centre more attractive for shoppers and retailers, breathing life back into a high street which has toiled.
Mr Reekie, who is in the process of setting up his own cider making business, highlighted the Scottish Government’s empty property tax, Scotland-only retail-levy and increasing business rates.
In particular, he added, was the SNP’s refusal to revalue business rates until 2017, meaning struggling companies are still paying the pre-recession “good times” levels of 2007.
Scottish Conservative candidate for the Dunfermline by-election James Reekie said:
“Even looking around the town centre shows Dunfermline is in desperate need of regeneration.
“There are too many empty units, and that is because the Scottish Government has hindered the retail sector when it most needed its help.
“That will be a priority of mine during this campaign, and if I am elected as a local MSP to the Scottish Parliament.
“This is what local people care about.
“A town centre regeneration fund, as well as bringing back a feel-good factor to the place, would create jobs for local people too.
“When this fund was in existence before, Kirkcaldy benefited to the tune of £2m – there is no reason why Dunfermline should not receive similar investment.
“Businesses of all sizes have never had it so hard, yet the Scottish Government still expects it to pay the good-times rates of pre-recession Scotland.
“That’s a failing on its part, and one it cannot be allowed to continue making.”