to secure a better future for our constituency.
Securing jobs and opportunities for our young people.
Since the last election over 500 fewer people are out of work in this constituency, youth employment has halved and the overall unemployment rate remains significantly lower than elsewhere in both Scotland and the United Kingdom. I continue to support the work of local organisations to increase opportunities for our young people.
Improving roads and transport links.
The quality and upkeep of our local roads network remains a real issue and it is vital we continue to hold local Councils and the Scottish Government to account when it comes to investment, particularly on trunk roads. I also want to see improvements to our local bus services, and further improvements to West Coast rail services, allowing residents better access to Edinburgh and Glasgow.
Supporting small businesses and promoting our region.
Small and medium sized businesses are the backbone of our local economy. Since the last election, I've visted and supported hundreds of local success stories and believe we need to work harder to promote what our region has to offer.
Delivering better broadband and mobile phone reception.
Improving connectivity is key to securing well paid jobs here in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale. We desperately need the faster roll out of high speed broadband, which I will continue to campaign for. I helped deliver UK Government plans to force mobile phone providers to improve reception in black spots.
Keeping fuel prices low to help our local economy.
Maintaining low petrol and diesel prices will help fuel growth in our local economy. I have worked tirelessly to ensure local concerns on this issue were heard at the highest level and I am delighted that because of the freezing of fuel duty a tank of petrol is now £10 cheaper than under the last Government's plans.