Local News for Friday 14th September 2018
LABOUR MSP RHODA GRANT RAISES MV LOCH SEAFORTH FUNDING
Highlands and Islands Labour MSP, Rhoda Grant raised the question of the funding deal struck by the Government and CMAL for the MV Loch Seaforth directly with the newly appointed Minister for Energy, Connectivity and the Islands, Paul Wheelhouse in the Scottish Parliament recently.
Mrs Grant asked the Minister, " To ask the Scottish Government whether it plans to investigate the financing of the Calmac vessel, MV Loch Seaforth, which is now owned by Lloyds Banking Group, after a lease deal was agreed at a reported cost to the public purse of £53 million. The Minister responded by saying a “tender process for a lease was undertaken by that Caledonian Maritime Assests Ltd” he went on to say “Audit Scotland did not raise anything of concern regarding the procurement of the MV Loch Seaforth. The Scottish Government therefore has no plans to investigate the financing of the MV Loch Seaforth.”
The MSP concluded, ‘This fight is far from over as funding, late ferry replacement, capacity, lifeline services, tourism and ordinary island life is being treated with no consideration whatsoever by this Government as the ageing threadbare fleet of CMAL fails to cope.’