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Caithness News Bulletins December 2003
GIBSON CALLS FOR TRUE MEASURE OF DEPOPULATION
'COUNTERDRIFT INDEX' WILL GIVE MEASURE OF EXEC EFFECTIVENESS
SNP Highlands and Islands MSP Mr Rob Gibson, called for the Executive to give a true picture of Highland depopulation by publishing a 'Counterdrift Index'.
The index, designed include affordable housing, dispersal of public jobs, community transfers, conversion of modern apprenticeships to permanent jobs, and incentives to attract trades people, would give a new weapon in the battle to reverse depopulation.
Commenting, Mr Gibson said: "For too long the drift out of the rural and remote areas of Scotland has gone unchecked. In a process that will further fuel emigration, we now face the very real spectre of these areas losing the their public services.
"Many countries have island communities, but manage to keep those areas thriving. The Scottish Executive has not gathered a measure of its efforts up till now. The Counterdrift Index would go some way to helping them remedy the situation.
"By producing this as quarterly index,
we will get a new weapon in the battle against depopulation. A true
picture would emerge of the