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FM MUST NOT SCUTTLE THE SCOTTISH FLEET

ALBA Depute Leader and MP for East Lothian Kenny MacAskill together with local representatives from Greenock and Inverclyde Cllr Jim McEleny and Cllr Chris McEleny handed in a model of a Cal Mac ferry to the First Minister at her official residence, Bute House today (Friday 24 September).

In a statement Kenny MacAskill MP said:

“Recent events have shown just how precarious the future of Ferguson has become with CMAL failing to allow the yard to even bid for the Islay ferries.  But it doesn’t have to be this way.  The yard has a skilled and committed workforce but it is now time for government to show the same commitment as the workers at the yard.

“Therefore along with local representatives Cllr Jim McEleny and Cllr Chris McEleny I am handing in a model of a Cal Mac ferry to the First Minister as a stark reminder of exactly what is at stake – Ferguson Marine at Port Glasgow and the future of shipbuilding on the lower Clyde.

“Unless the Scottish Government and the First Minister face up to their responsibilities and start directing CMAL to place orders with Ferguson, including the Gourock-Dunoon replacements and small isle ferries, then all that will be left of our proud shipbuilding tradition will be plastic models.

“That must not be allowed to happen. The UCS work-in defeated a Tory Government and a Tory Prime Minister.  That resolve to defend communities and a whole industry must be rekindled to secure the future of shipbuilding on the lower Clyde.

“Sturgeon must not be allowed to achieve through incompetence and neglect what Ted Heath failed to achieve through deliberate intent – namely the end of shipbuilding on the lower Clyde.  Sturgeon must not scuttle the Scottish fleet.  The power of government and state intervention must be mobilised to secure the future of the yard well into the future.  Anything less would be a betrayal.”

Inverclyde Council ALBA Leader Cllr Jim McEleny said:

“Inverclyde badly needs investment. There are many interconnected factors that result in the levels of deprivation we suffer from. The Scottish Government have the power to directly award contracts to our area. Not only would this support jobs at the yard, it would be the foundation to attract more investment to the area and create even more jobs. The Scottish Government have a simple choice, choose to invest in the people of Inverclyde or choose to allow Inverclyde to keep being top of all the wrong league tables year after year. “

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