The SNP group of candidates for Comhairle nan Eilean Siar has set out plans to improve the tendering process for public sector contracts in the Western Isles.
The SNP intend to level the playing field by giving island building firms the chance to compete. They believe current construction projects and tenders coming from the Comhairle seem to favour very large companies, with the result that the smaller local ones, who are just as capable, are missing out.
The SNP candidates are therefore proposing, as part of their local manifesto:
A commitment to splitting up contracts, where possible, into smaller tenders;
A commitment to increasing apprenticeships wherever resources can be identified;
A commitment to support back to work schemes;
A commitment to provide training and construction workshops.
Local SNP candidate for Stornoway South, Rae MacKenzie, said:
“It’s a terrible shame that while there has never been so much construction work in the islands, with millions of pounds worth of tenders having been issued in recent years, but today local tradesmen are being made redundant and local construction firms are worried about their future, all due to work being handed to big external companies.
“Despite the noises coming from certain councillors about how successful recent projects have been for local contractors, we all know that the reality for many building contractors in the islands is shaky – The SNP want to help turn this around and contribute towards a more stable future for our local building companies and their employees.”