I WAS saddened to read reports from the GMB that Highland Council has shed more jobs over the past two years than any other local authority in Scotland.
If – as I fear may be the case – the axe has fallen on planning and building control services, that will stifle the region’s economic recovery and further hamper the already hard-pressed local construction industry.
This local authority already has a bad reputation for appointing contractors from far afield to fulfil even the most basic construction contracts, paid for by the public purse.
The loss of staff to oversee the procurement of those services will only make a bad situation worse.
Highland construction employers have for decades had a well-deserved reputation for being among the best at recruiting apprentices and providing the local workforce with opportunities for skilled employment. We owe it to them to ensure these budget cuts don’t lead to the demise of more local construction firms due to poor procurement decisions by chronically over-stretched council staff.
Scottish Building Federation