Offering nothing but hot air

June 20th, 2011

The First Minister graced Inverclyde with his presence this week and outlined his grand plan to re-industrialise the West of Scotland.

He spoke of bringing the renewables industry to the Clyde and created an expectation that he would bring jobs to Inverclyde through the manufacturing and maintenance of turbines.

Well, either he has been badly briefed by his advisors or he has just opened a new can of Brasso for his neck.

Inverclyde has been shut out of the renewables industry by the Scottish Government, which has prioritised spending in other parts of Scotland, such as Dundee and Argyll.

Alex Salmond should know this – he is the chair of the energy advisory board which decided where the pot of renewables money should be spent, notably the north east of Scotland and the highlands and islands.

At a time when production sites in the east of Scotland are serving sites in the west coast of Ireland, it is clear that geography is no obstacle to serving Scotland’s offshore windfarms.

Yet the Scottish Government is pursuing this flawed logic to ensure we don’t receive a penny towards achieving our ambition of making Inverclyde a renewable manufacturing hub.

I made the case for Inchgreen dock again last week, challenging the Finance Secretary to think again and make use of the infrastructure, skills and workforce we have in Inverclyde.

Again, I was offered nothing more than warm words which are in stark contrast to the SNP’s actions.

In cutting our regeneration budget for Riverside Inverclyde, they ensured we would be instead funding renewable investment in Scotland.

Alex Salmond has proven to be the master at telling people what they want to hear when he is chasing their vote.

But when it comes to Inverclyde, all he is offering is hot air - enough to power hundreds of his precious wind turbines.