Over my 10 years in Parliament - 9 as a Government Minister - my team and I have accomplished so much for the region. But I've got more to give, and more to do.
CONSTITUENT ENQUIRIES SINCE 2016
SOUTH SCOTLAND MSP SINCE 2011
MINISTER FOR ENERGY, CONNECTIVITY & THE ISLANDS
FROM JUNE 2018
MINISTER FOR BUSINESS, INNOVATION & ENERGY
MAY 2016 - JUNE 2018
MINISTER FOR COMMUNITY SAFETY & LEGAL AFFAIRS
NOVEMBER 2014 - MAY 2016
MINISTER FOR ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE
SEPTEMBER 2012 - NOVEMBER 2014
POLITICIAN OF THE YEAR
2015 NATURE OF SCOTLAND AWARDS
2019 GREEN ENERGY AWARDS
19 YEARS AS A PROFESSIONAL ECONOMIST BEFORE ENTERING PARLIAMENT
I, too, must praise the Minister for his approach. I do not want to embarrass him too much, but I have to say that he has given something of a masterclass in cross-party co-operation. The process has been driven by the Minister. He has managed to get people virtually round the table and to agree on pretty much everything [...]. Anyway, I say to the Minister, 'well done - really well done'.
GRAHAM SIMPSON, CONSERVATIVE
I again pay tribute to the Minister, Paul Wheelhouse, for the way in which he has engaged with other parties across the Parliament. That is the right way to make legislation, as was evidenced by all the amendments being dealt with in record time.
ALEX ROWLEY, LABOUR
I thank the Minister again for the way he has sought to take on board proposals from Opposition members. [...] I thank all those who have played their part in a productive and genuinely collaborative process.
LIAM McARTHUR, LIB DEM
EVEN MY OPPONENTS SAY THAT I'M AN EFFECTIVE MINISTER
SEVEN BILLS PASSED BY THE SCOTTISH PARLIAMENT
HEAT NETWORKS (SCOTLAND) ACT 2021
The bill introduced a licensing system for district and communal heating networks.
These networks, which can run solely from renewable sources, deliver heat from a central source through insulated pipes to homes and other buildings. The Bill, which has now passed Stage 3 unanimously 119 votes to nil, puts in place statutory targets for the delivery of heat networks in Scotland for 2027 and 2030 - the upshot of this is that Scotland will connect up to the equivalent of 650,000 homes on to heat networks by 2030. This will create significant new job opportunities across Scotland.
The benefits of heat networks are not only environmental - they can save space, remove combustion risk, and been shown to save householders and businesses up to 36% in fuel costs.
DELIVERING FOR THE SCOTTISH BORDERS AND SOUTH SCOTLAND
SOUTH OF SCOTLAND ENTERPRISE
Alongside my party colleagues in the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway, we successfully campaigned for a new enterprise agency - in recognition of the unique economic challenges in the south and following engagement with the South of Scotland alliance.
Following an interim period where a 'shadow' organisation, the South of Scotland Economic Partnership, was established, the new South of Scotland Enterprise (SOSE) agency was officially launched on the 1st April 2020, by Act of Parliament, and has much more flexibility to deal with socio-economic drivers of growth locally. SOSE has been established along similar lines to the Highlands & Islands Enterprise agency, which has had a strong track record in supporting community level economic development in the Highlands and Islands.
SOSE has already invested over £22m of support in 400 businesses and organisations across the region, and is playing a key role in supporting economic development and enterprise across the Scottish Borders and Dumfries & Galloway.
WHAT HAS THE SNP DONE FOR THE SCOTTISH BORDERS?
£12m for Scottish Borders Council to offer 1,140 hours of free childcare from August 2021
Baby Boxes for Borders Parents Since August 2017
to Borders Businesses to reduce the cost of business rates
Modern Apprenticeships since 2007
£20m for a new train station at Reston
£89m to replace two High Schools and five Primaries since 2016
£500 'Thank You' payment for NHS Staff for their work through the pandemic
Main funder of the £91m Hawick Flood Protection Scheme and the £34m Selkirk Project
£3.6m Enterprise Hub and new business units for Hawick
Of Borders properties have access to Superfast Broadband, up from 20.8% in 2014
Small Business Bonus Payments
"Right across the Scottish Borders, it's the SNP Scottish Government that is investing in the area and delivering meaningful change.
"Our record is one of innovation, ambition and leadership.
"But there's no time to waste. Re-elect me and, together, let's turn the Borders into the powerhouse of the South."