WESTMINSTER'S Scottish Affairs Committee will today launch a consultation on the future of the Borderlands.

Chairman Ian Davidson said the area covered by Dumfries and Galloway and Scottish Borders councils had been overlooked by successive governments.

The committee inquiry, called Our Borders, Our Future, will hear from a range of bodies in the south of Scotland.

Loading article content

MPs on the committee have already held meetings in Galashiels, Peebles and Dumfries and identified higher levels of unemployment, lower than average wages, higher transport costs, poorer infrastructure and lower levels of economic development than other parts of the country.

They believe an initiative similar to Shetland, Orkney and the Western Isles joint campaign for more powers could benefit the Borderlands.

Labour MP Ian Davidson said: "Our initial visits to the Borderlands, with what we knew already, told us that people in the South of Scotland are not getting as good a deal as they should. Centralisation into Edinburgh undermines the ability of local people to control their own lives and the lack of any development support similar to that provided in the north of Scotland limits social and economic regeneration opportunities."