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NEWS FROM JAMES KELLY MSP

SNP Government sell out Cambuslang

26th April 2019

 

James Kelly MSP and Ged Killen MP have condemned the decision of the SNP Government to refuse investing any of the £650k which is being repaid by 2 Sisters, who closed their factory in Cambuslang resulting in over 400 jobs losses, in the town.

Mr Kelly who has raised this issue in Parliament with the First Minister and recently wrote to the Finance Secretary calling on the monies to be invested in the town’s local economy to redevelop the area and stimulate growth after years of neglect from central government. The First Minister committed to discussions with the local community on how money repaid by 2 Sisters could be invested in Cambuslang.

Mr Kelly has now received a letter from Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills, in which he says the money repaid by 2 Sisters has been recycled to support general Government economic activity. No plans have been set out to invest the money in Cambuslang.

Both have hit out at SNP Ministers for failing to stand up for the interests of the town, despite the First Minister previously giving this assurance, and deliver a fair deal for Cambuslang.

 

James Kelly MSP said:

“This is completely unacceptable. Nicola Sturgeon previously made a commitment to discussions with the local community about how money repaid by 2 Sisters would be invested in Cambuslang.

We now have SNP Minister Jamie Hepburn saying that this money has been recycled. This means the money has been lost to Cambuslang.

The SNP Government have sold the people of Cambuslang out. They have treated the Cambuslang community with contempt  by refusing to honour a previous commitment to invest this money in Cambuslang.

Cambuslang is in desperate in need of investment. The SNP need to reverse this disgraceful decision.”

 

Ged Killen MP said:

“Public money was given to 2 Sisters on the basis that it was to benefit the factory and the workforce in Cambuslang.”

Two Sisters has failed to live up to its promises and rightly will have to repay the money. However, that money was to be spent in Cambuslang and the Scottish Government must ensure that it still is.

“Cambuslang workers and residents have been sold out once before by 2 Sisters, it would be extraordinarily disappointing if they were to be sold out again, this time by SNP Ministers.”

 

ENDS

 

Notes:

Exchange between James Kelly MSP and First Minister Nicola Sturgeon

Official Report of FMQs on 22 November 2018

James Kelly (Glasgow) (Lab):

It was revealed earlier this week that Scottish Enterprise paid a grant of £500,000 to the 2 Sisters Group on the basis of the guarantee that the group would keep the plant in Cambuslang open until 2020. The plant closed earlier this year with the loss of 450 jobs and a devastating effect on the Cambuslang community. That is totally unacceptable and a kick in the teeth to the workers in the Cambuslang area.

Will the First Minister set out the steps that the Scottish Government will take to recover that half a million pounds, and will she commit to investing it in the Cambuslang community in order to offset some of the economic vandalism that has been wreaked on the Cambuslang community by the 2 Sisters Group?

The First Minister (Nicola Sturgeon):

I thank James Kelly for raising that issue. As he and other members will be aware, all Scottish Enterprise grants have conditions attached. Those are written into the legally binding contracts that are made with any company that receives a grant. Scottish Enterprise must ensure that it is able to obtain repayment of grant when there has been a fundamental breach of an agreement. It is set out clearly in the offer letter that conditions are attached to the grants. When conditions are breached, the grant is repayable.

I can tell Parliament that Scottish Enterprise is actively in discussion with 2 Sisters for the return of the grant for the Cambuslang site. In due course, we will have discussions with the local community about future investment there.

 

Please see below a copy of Mr Kelly’s letter to Derek Mackay in March

Please see attached the response from Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Business, Fair Work and Skills in April – “All grants recovered by SE are treated as in-year income and recycled, i.e. used to support economic development, in the same financial year in which the income is recognised.”

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