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14 January 2011

Local MSP Meets With Les Taylor Group Receivers

AWPR PROTESTORS CONDEMNED FOR DELAY TO VITAL NE PROJECT

Banff & Buchan MSP Stewart Stevenson met with senior officials from Ernst & Young, receivers for the Les Taylor Group in Mintlaw earlier this afternoon.

The local MSP was accompanied by SNP MP Dr Eilidh Whiteford and local Independent councillor Norman Smith.

Mr Stevenson was heartened by some of the news he was given by the receivers in terms of their expectations for parts of the business and a large number of the employees. However, the MSP was strongly critical of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route protestors, who have caused delay to the project with their legal challenge.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Stevenson said:

“It’s clear that the Les Taylor Group continued to be a well-managed operation but have been brought down by a substantial burden of bank debt.

“Against a disappointing background we heard better news today that substantially more than half of the redundant employees are expected to have entered new employment shortly.

“We were pleased to hear that Skills Development Scotland and the Continuing Employment Team have been engaged for a week now and will be arranging for the remaining staff to receive support through local offices in Banff, Turriff, Fraserburgh, Peterhead and Aberdeen.

“We also heard that it is likely that the animal feedstuffs business will be sold. They are experiencing their busiest winter ever as it is important to local agricultural interests that there is no disruption to the delivery of animal feedstuffs during this exceptionally hard winter.

“We met a number of employees who are continuing in employment and working with the receivers to seek to deliver the best available outcome and offered them support should that be required.

“It is clear that the civil engineering industry in the North-east is suffering from the delay to the many hundreds of millions of pounds investment that the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route would have represented caused by the selfish actions of a tiny minority. Many companies like the Les Taylor Group could have expected to pick up substantial sub-contracting opportunities but for the actions of the protestors who have delayed this important project. I hope even at this late stage, those who are delaying this vital investment in the North-east will think again.”
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