MSP Joan McAlpine has hit out at David and Oliver Mundell for suggesting the Scottish Government should purchase the Pinneys site from Young’s – while the UK Tory government sits on the side-lines.
Commenting, the SNP MSP said:
“David Mundell is fond of telling people that ‘Scotland has two governments.’
“It is therefore astounding that he issued a press release with his MSP son this week demanding that the Scottish Government buy the Pinneys site, while his own UK government sits on the side-lines having spent not a single penny nor lifted a finger to help.”
Last week the Scottish Government announced a £250,000 grant to help regenerate Annan through an action plan, and a £6.6 million package to benefit Dumfries and Galloway College.
This is in addition to the action group, led by the Scottish Government and the council, set up to tackle the crisis within days of Young’s announcing its intention to consult on closing the site.
Ms McAlpine continued:
“Only last week the Cabinet Secretary for the Rural Economy, Fergus Ewing, was in Annan to open a very well attended jobs and opportunities event for workers.
“The Scottish Government’s PACE team (Partnership Action for Continuing Employment) has been supporting Pinneys’ workers for months.
“Before Mr Ewing, the former Scottish business minister, Paul Wheelhouse made several trips to Annan and had several meetings with Young’s executives.
“Of course, we all wanted a different outcome, and are disappointed that despite all this activity, Young’s is closing the plant. But the Scottish Government has been active and has done its best.
“The UK government, of which Mr Mundell is a part, has done nothing- no visits from business ministers, no offers of funds, no activity whatsoever.
“The only part the Conservative UK government seem to have played in this terrible affair was giving Grimsby a substantial grant to move Young’s jobs there from Annan.”
The £250,000 is part of the overall South of Scotland Economic Partnership (SOSEP) funding which awarded £7.68 million to projects across Dumfries and Galloway and the Scottish Borders. https://news.gov.scot/news/gbp-7-7-million-for-south-of-scotland-projects