Cllr Cecil Meiklejohn

Falkirk Council Labour Provost,Pat Reid, stunned opposition Councillors when he ruled that a motion submitted by SNP and Independent Councillors was not sufficiently urgent enough to be debated at a recent meeting of the council.

The Provost ruled that the matter of the potential closure of the plant with a potential 10,000 direct and indirect jobs at stake was “insufficiently urgent to warrant inclusion on the agenda.

The motion signed jointly by the SNP and Non Aligned Independent Groups called for a statement from the council’s political leaders of the outcome of meetings that may have taken place between council leaders and the management and trade unions at Ineos.


However, despite significant announcements over the last few days from both the management and trade unions at Grangemouth Provost Reid refused to accept the opposition motion. Instead he called on council chief executive, Mary Pitcaithly to make a statement. Councillors were then allowed to ask questions and make short comment.

 In this the SNP pointed to the crisis at the plant in 2001 / 02 when the then owners, BP, threatened to close the entire Grangemouth complex. The council, at that tie under an SNP led Administration played a proactive role in securing the plants immediate future.

 There was a collective intake of breath when council leader, Craig Martin, admitted that not only have there been no meetings between senior Councillors and the company none were planned as he had “not received an invitation to talks.”

 Councillor Meiklejohn said,

 “We went into the chambers to support any actions the Labour / Tory Coalition Administration were taking to save the jobs in Grangemouth. That offer remains on the table but to hear that neither the Labour leader or Tory depute leader of Falkirk Council have sought to meet the company management or the trade unions has shaken our confidence

 Perhaps that is why Provost Reid, once again, suppressed debate.

 Whatever the reason Provost Reid’s comment that the potential loss of 10,000 local jobs was not sufficiently urgent to debate in full beggars belief

We wanted a message from the elected Councillors of Falkirk Council that the parties were united in a pro-active campaign to save these jobs only to find that those with the power have not yet attempted to reach the table.

 The employees of Ineos, their families, those whose jobs are tied to the plant, local businesses and the general public expect better.”


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  1. Joe Bruce says:

    Does Craig Martin’s phone only receive incoming calls? Its time he was getting off his backside and telling these companies what is in our interests.

  2. Derek Dillon says:

    I work for Petroineos, how about this for an angle? Mid-term tory government in Westminster decides to try and smash the strongest branch of the Unite union. Events surrounding the Labour selection process generate a convenient excuse for a highly irregular investigation into one of our Conveners with the hope of fomenting industrial action.
    In parallel, the private equity company Ineos mount a disgraceful attack on the workers terms and conditions to further aggravate the situation.
    There is an independence referendum next year and the loss of Scotlands only oil refinery would be a publicity coup for the better together campaign (bank bail out style propaganda again) In the event of a Yes vote, the loss of the refinery would mean Scottish oil would be processed in English refineries and sold back to us at a cost.
    All this with the backdrop of the attempted extorsion of money and loan guarantees from Scottish and UK governments respectively, this from a company headquartered in Switzerland to save 100 million in UK tax per year. This whole situation reeks to me. I think there are higher forces at play here, or maybe I’m just another paranoid nationalist?

  3. Derek Dillon says:

    I would like to see the Refinery and Petrochemical complex nationalised in an independent Scotland, if we can do it for Prestwick……… any takers?

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