A VOICE FROM WESTMINSTER
The news that BiFab’s directors had placed the company into Administration was no great surprise but it’s still a deeply worrying time for their workers and their families. I recently issued a joint statement with some of my fellow parliamentarians and called for new owners to take over from JV Driver, the current majority shareholder. The optimism surrounding their takeover in 2017 has not been fulfilled and they have not provided the investment the yards need. We also need a change in the UK Government’s rules for placing contracts for the big offshore windfarms. The UK is one of very few places that doesn’t place a requirement on all bidders to use local suppliers and sub contractors – so all the work goes to companies using low paid workers thousands of miles away, and companies like BiFab who want to use local suppliers get priced out of contracts on their own doorstep.
There was much better news for Methil with confirmation that SGN (Scottish Gas Networks) had secured the final funding package for their H100 project. This pilot, the first of its type in the world, will offer around 300 local families the chance to have their domestic gas heating and cooking converted to run entirely on hydrogen gas. I’m hopeful that there could be further exciting news to come that will help make Levenmouth a real world leader in this carbon-free renewable technology.
The Glenrothes area faces the loss of yet another Post Office after the operator of Carleton Post Office in Woodside handed in their notice. Recently we’ve seen closures either announced or made permanent at Cadham, Pitteuchar, Markinch and Leslie. The Post Office have assured me they are optimistic about other people coming forward to reopen some of these services but it’s obvious there’s something seriously wrong with the way the whole organisation has been set up. The UK Government sets them impossible financial targets meaning they can’t offer enough to local shopkeepers to make it worth their while running the service. To comment on the proposed closure of Carleton you can go to www.postofficeviews.co.uk and type “Carleton” in the search box.
Network Rail have launched a web site with updates on the reopening of the Levenmouth Rail Link. They’re inviting comments on the possible locations for stations at Leven and at Cameron Brig. Four possible sites are being considered for Leven. At Cameron Brig they’ve looked at several options and the only one they think is feasible is a few hundred yards from the site of the old station. All the plans are available at www.scotlandsrailway.com/projects which also has details of how you can comment on the proposals. They’re still “on track” for the really intense construction work to begin in 2022.