I welcome the opportunity to respond to the points in your ‘Editor’s Chair’ column last week.
It has been my privilege to represent Hawick in the House of Commons for nine years. It is a responsibility I take very seriously indeed, holding advice surgeries at the Citizen’s Advice Bureau and meeting with local businesses and organisations in the town regularly.
I am acutely aware of the challenges and hardships facing many people and the difficulties facing people looking for work. As you mentioned in your column, I recognised these realities in my comments about the recent job statistics.
Hawick’s future is important to everyone, not just in the town, but across the Borders. I have always taken the view that teamwork is essential so that we can build on the town’s great strengths and enjoy a successful future.
To that end, I make it my business to work with people across parties (and with those in none) for the good of the town – it is the only way that we will successfully tackle the challenges locally.
When I was Secretary of State for Scotland I ensured that one of the Scottish youth unemployment conferences took place in Hawick.
More recently I organised the Borders Digital Forum in Hawick, with senior BT representatives and public sector officials, to focus attention on broadband and mobile phone issues here.
And right now, I am working on a renewed initiative to improve the condition of the High Street, about which I have recently held meetings with senior officials at the council.
On these and other issues, I will continue to work with others, behind the scenes and in public, to ensure they get the attention and action they deserve.
Michael Moore MP