It is unfortunate that Labour councillors in the Fa’side ward have decided to use the loss of jobs for a political purpose. This says more about their standards than it ever will about the former SNP administration.
However let’s look at some facts, however inconvenient they will be to Labour. Under five years of an SNP led council firms such as Bankton survived in the midst of the worst financial circumstances for the building trade most folk can remember. Under Labour’s first nine months in office a firm has gone bust through lack of contracts being awarded. Labour have also awarded around 90 per cent of council contracts to firms outside East Lothian despite their manifesto promise, now dumped, of course, to guarantee local firms work.
Under the SNP design and build contracts were common place for local firms and delivered hundreds of council and housing association houses in Tranent, Musselburgh, Prestonpans, Dunbar to name just a few. Bankton built the flats for Dunedin Canmore Housing Association in Tranent after direct interventions from Scottish Government and the SNP council to bring more money in to East Lothian.
Up until the election in May more than a dozen design and build projects were close to fruition, including at least one with Bankton, which would have built new council houses and protected jobs. Since the election many of these projects seem to no longer be a priority for Labour and worst of all they have cancelled a £3 million project to build council houses in Dunbar.
The SNP will take no lectures from Labour councillors who spent years building no council houses when they had the chance and five years in opposition trying to prevent affordable housing projects, with local firms doing the work, from happening in the first place.
It is a real tragedy when any firm goes out of business in East Lothian but it is not made any better by Labour councillors playing politics when a firm has gone under on their watch.
Cllr Stuart Currie (SNP)
Musselburgh East and Carberry
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