Last of the Westland Whigs

In the late 17th century, the 'Westland Whigs' were the radical descendants of earlier Covenanters who had defied the absolutist rule of Stuart kings in south west Scotland.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Cross Party Press Release




FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE; Monday 22nd January 2007

In an unusual show of unity politicians from across the spectrum have united to issue a clear message of support for the Crichton Campus of Glasgow University, which may have to close if the Scottish Funding Council do not agree to a request by Glasgow University for additional funding..

The annual deficit of the University at the Crichton - presently £800,000 a year - will prove too great for Glasgow University and notice of closure will, according to the University, have to be given. Existing students would be allowed to finish their courses, but no new students would be admitted. A meeting of the Council being held this Friday (26th) may refuse a request from Glasgow University for increased resources to match the student numbers now being taught at the Crichton.

In the run up to the meeting the politicians - Labour MSP Elaine Murray , SNP MSP Alasdair Morgan , Tory MSPs Alex Fergusson , Derek Brownlee and Murray Tosh, Tory MP David Mundell Green MSP Chris Ballance and Solidarity MSP Rosemary Byrne as well as SNP Dumfries Candidate Michael Russell - have offered the Campus their support in a message which says:

“We regard the presence of Glasgow University at the Crichton as a vital lynch pin in the development of higher education in the this area and in the plans for economic regeneration of both the site and the region. It is also a hugely important asset for the town of Dumfries and for the whole of Dumfries and Galloway and it is more than fulfilling its aim of drawing into higher education many people who would otherwise be disadvantaged.

Its collaborations with other institutions on the site, with local and regional businesses, with the local Council and with the community and its’ strong and positive plans for the future are far too important to be put at risk by a short sighted refusal by the national body responsible for University finance to assist with necessary growth. We therefore call on Glasgow University and the SFHEFC to pledge long term support for the University’s operations at the Crichton and by so doing to lift any threat of closure.”

The message has been sent to Glasgow University Principal Sir Muir Russell and to the Chief Executive of the Scottish Further and Higher Education Funding Council as well as to Professor Ted Cowan, Director of the University at the Crichton.


Michael Russell 01369 820319 / 07990 572087 or from any of the signatories


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