By Martin Kelly
Labour members of Strathclyde Fire Board have been criticised after banding together in order to block a one million pound contract from going to a Cumnock based company.
Instead of awarding the contract for the procurement of fire engines to Emergency One (UK) Ltd, Labour members instead opted to award the contract to a Surrey based firm.
The SNP has criticised the move by the Labour board members to vote to award the £1m contract for ten 18 tonne bodybuilds to John Dennis Coachbuilders Ltd, who are based in Surrey.
Labour members voted en masse against awarding the Emergency One (UK) Ltd the contract despite the fact that this would guarantee new and sustained employment in the area.
SNP plans to award the contract to Emergency One was defeated by 19 votes to 8, with the vote breaking down on Party lines.
Commenting on the decision, SNP MSP Adam Ingram said:
"It is outrageous that due to the actions of Labour members Cumnock and the surrounding area have lost out on this £1,051,550 contract.
"I am very disappointed that a local company has lost out, particularly since the margin between Emergency One (UK) and the firm in the south of England was less than 3% in the Fire Board’s scoring process.
"Such a minimal difference should have outweighed the obvious gains to be made in community benefits and, indeed, reducing the carbon footprint of appliance and other movements between Scotland and Surrey."
Tenders were received from four firms, with Emergency One being the only Scottish based firm.
The tender process adopted a points scoring system weighted along financial assessment, specification compliance, supply chain and contract management and Corporate and Social responsibilities.
The Surrey based firm obtained a ‘score’ just 3% higher than the Scottish firm, with the other rivals well behind.
Mr Ingram, The MSP for Carrick, Cumnock and Doon Valley, said he would appeal the decision and fight to bring jobs to Scotland.
"This is a decision I don’t intend to let lie. I am writing to Audit Scotland requesting an investigation into the scoring of the tender bids and the conduct of Labour members of the Fire Board."
Details of the scoring system can be found on page 35 of this document.