The company which is funded by the Scottish Government is threatened by Falkirk Council who are likely to seek to abolish the arms length company and take their responsibilities and funding in-house when the council meets on 2oth June.
However, the SNP have declared their support for the retention of the arms length company believing that the current Labour / Tory Administration are more interested in the Scottish Government funding that Falkirk for Business attracts, than the promotion of new business opportunities that is the SNP Governments criteria for the Business Gateway contract.
The Nationalists also point to the impressive record of Falkirk for Business and question why Falkirk Council are not working in partnership with the organisation to create jobs throughout the district.
For example, in the last 12 monthsFalkirk for Business has,
- Enabled 360 business start ups
- Supported the survival and growth of 1157 local companies
- Helped to create and sustain 545 local jobs
- Assisted economic growth by £41.5m
SNP Economic Development spokesperson, Cllr Martin Oliver, said,
“Falkirk for Business is one of the top performing Business Gateway Companies not just in Scotland but throughout the UK.
Their performance record has been superb and compare favourably with all of their competitors and outperforming most.
Mindfull of the adage, if it aint broke don’t fix it, I would urge the Labour / Tory Administration to leave Falkirk for Business to get on with the task they are in business for.
The expertise gained by Falkirk For Business is invaluable in business development and gives them a clear and distinct advantage over Falkirk Council. Any change to that balance will undoubtedly cost local jobs.
This has been recognised by the Business Community and the Falkirk Business Panel are 100% opposed to this cash and power grab by the current administration.
Falkirk Council works better when it works in partnership but more and more the council is disengaging from existing partnerships that have served us well in the past and shying away from establishing new partnerships resulting in us being left behind.”
The issue is also being seen as test for the two Tory Councillors within the council’s political administration. It would be highly unusual for a Tory Group to vote to transfer a service from the private to the public sector at any time but particularly when Falkirk for Business has such a strong performance record.
Said Councillor Oliver,
“ This issue may give us a clue as to whether or not the two Tory Councillors have merely taken the Labour whip in return for their elevated positions or whether they have retained any form of independent thought or action.”