February 22nd, 2011
Greenock and Inverclyde MSP Duncan McNeil has expressed his disappointment at the handling of the Blairs redundancies, which has cost nearly 100 jobs.
The MSP has been dealing with prospective buyers, receivers, the banks, current management and even the Scottish Government in a bid to save the jobs.
While new owners have now taken over the company, the MSP believes delays in the deal prevented further jobs being saved.
He said: “I am pleased that we have new owners at Blairs who are committed to building on that famous name and growing the company.
“While I wish the new owners every success, I am disappointed with the way that the receivers Ernst and Young have handled this and I believe more jobs could have been saved if they had put the wider economic concerns before short-term gain.
“When I raised the issue of Blairs with the First Minister back in January, there was an offer on the table and I warned we had 48 hours to save more than 100 jobs. Sadly I was proved right.
“The receivers held out for a better offer and their gamble failed when a higher bid fell through – this community lost 100 jobs as a result.
“I have followed the twists and turns of this developing situation for seven weeks, having discussions on an almost daily basis with the insolvency practitioners, the bank, prospective buyers, existing management, the local authority and even the Scottish Government in the hope that we could find a satisfactory conclusion.
“I believe insolvency practitioners should be accountable for the damage their decisions have on people’s lives and have contacted the Enterprise Minister Jim Mather to make him aware about this case.
“I understand that the minister has now met with the insolvency practitioners and he used the Blairs situation as a case study. I await any conclusion on actions that the Scottish Government will be able to take in order that lessons can be learned from this distressing experience.”