4th May, 2015


Conventional wisdom dictates that prior to an election governments should focus on the good news and avoid potential bad news like the plague.

The current SNP Government has been particularly adept at this. The failure to release its oil and gas bulletin, which would tell us how much Scotland would expect to receive from North Sea oil revenues in the years ahead, is a case in point.

It’s for this reason that a number of recent developments locally have given me cause for concern.

Just over a month ago, news got out that we will not know the successful bidder for the new CalMac vessel for the Ardrossan to Brodick route until after the election.

The announcement was originally due to be made at the end of March and Ferguson’s Shipyard was one of those bidding strongly. The response I received on Thursday regarding the delay from Transport Minister Derek MacKay, gives no grounds for optimism.

Further to this, it’s been over two months since NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde recommended to the Scottish Government that Inverclyde should receive funding to replace Greenock’s crumbling Health Centre, and it has still not confirmed its support.

And finally, three weeks after writing to Health Minister Shona Robson, I have yet to receive a detailed response regarding the delays in building a replacement for the Ravenscraig Hospital.

I sincerely hope all of this is just a mere coincidence and nothing to do with bad news being avoided due to the election being just around the corner.

The people of Inverclyde deserve straight answers and the fair share of funding that would help boost the economy and address some of the huge health challenges we face locally.

Governments need to be judged not on what they promise just before an election but the action they take in between elections.