Falkirk North SNP Councillor, Cecil Meiklejohn, has called on Falkirk Council to treat all local companies fairly at a time of difficulty for the economy after inconsistencies are revealed.
SNP members have highlighted the difference in treatment of two local companies, one which is being allowed to purchase their council owned premises and one which is having the premises they lease from Falkirk Council sold from underneath them to a competitor.
Well respected local company, Quality Masonry Services of Dalderse Avenue who employ 15 local people lease their works unit and yard from Falkirk Council but face being transferred to a private sector landlord despite QMS offering Falkirk Council their asking price set by the independent District Valuer.
Instead the Labour / Tory Coalition Administration have accepted a marginally higher bid by a competitor thus placing at risk future of the company.
The Falkirk Herald revealed in their edition published on 24 November revealed that the council had agreed to a request by Malcolm Allan to relocate to premises in Larbert that they will purchase without putting these premises on the open market, contrary to the council’s own policies only very recently introduced.
Councillor Meiklejohn said,
“SNP members of the Policy and Resources Committee supported the relocation and purchase by Malcolm Allan as it is in line with the SNP policy of common sense purchases to benefit local business.
It is vitally important that Falkirk Council work with local businesses such as Malcolm Allan to allow them to expand and not only protect existing jobs but also the creation of new jobs.
That is why we have supported Malcolm Allan, they are a well respected and vibrant local company and we applaud the council for setting aside their own narrow and restrictive policy in this case.
However, Quality Masonry Services are also a well respected and popular local company who have invested around £85,000 of their own money in improving their council owned premises and yard. Their reward for this is having their workplace sold from underneath them to a competitor.
What we are asking for is consistency and fairness.
Currently we have a narrow and restrictive policy that Labour and their Tory allies have introduced then ignored in one case creating the resentment and belief that there is discrimination in the manner it is interpreted.
What we need is the council to stop the grasping of the few extra pounds they may get from putting these premises on the open market, at the cost of jobs.
That is what the SNP will be fighting for when the matter comes to Falkirk Council’s next meeting to be held on 7 December.”