David Stewart MSP

Archive for January 2010

Stewart calls for Highland Council to Give Hand-up to Highland Blincraft

29 January 2010

Speaking in a members’ debate in the Scottish Parliament, David Stewart, Highlands and Islands regional Labour MSP has called on Highland Council to give Highland Blindcraft a hand-up by increasing trade with them.

Mr Stewart commented, “These are difficult times for employers, but particularly for organisations with supported work places.

“This Inverness factory has been in operation for over 140 years and their current percentage of disabled employees is well over 75%, easily exceeding the 50% necessary for the factory to be classed as a supported factory.

“Much progress has been made improving Highland Blindcraft’s financial situation but without council help the future viability of the factory is uncertain.

“Factory staff are currently on a 4 day week and have been for 18 months but if it were possible to increase trade between the organisation and the council this would improve their viability which in turn would result in the factory workers returning to 5 day a week employment.”

“An EU public procurement directive allows public sector contracts to be reserved for workplaces where more than 50% of the workforce is disabled to ensure procurement through supported businesses wherever possible.

“I have met with the general manager and chair of Highland Blindcraft and enjoyed a visit to the factory showroom.

“I have also written this week to Highland Council asking them to look at contracting work to Highland Blindcraft under the terms of the EU public procurement directive.

“If trade levels with the factory were increased it would provide stability and ensure financial viability.”

Mr Stewart added, “Those workers employed by Highland Blindcraft are unable to compete in the open labour market and the employment provided by the factory is vital to them.

“I trust Highland Council will do all within their power to accommodate a contract for Highland Blindcraft.”


Written by davidstewart

January 29, 2010 at 9:20 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Highland Airways Collapse would be a Tragedy , says North MSP

29 January 2010

Highland Airways must not be allowed to collapse, according to David Stewart, Highlands and Islands regional Labour MSP. Mr Stewart said it would be a major blow to the rural communities which benefit from the airline’s services.

The company is seeking new funding to safeguard its future and an announcement is expected within days.

Mr Stewart commented, “Highland Airways is an important local employer and it is a vital part of the transport infrastructure in the north of Scotland and beyond. It would be tragedy if the airline went bankrupt.

“The company not only provides important passenger flights, but it also carries out vital lifeline services such as newspaper deliveries, freight and reconnaissance missions.

“Every effort must be made to ensure that the airline receives new investment and I urge the Scottish Government to pull out all the stops to make sure this company does not collapse.”

Written by davidstewart

January 29, 2010 at 9:19 am

Posted in Uncategorized

Success for Scrap Car Removal Bid on Eigg

28 January 2010


David Stewart, Highlands and Islands Regional Labour MSP, has clarified the regulations surrounding the removal of scrap cars from areas such as the Isle of Eigg.

Mr Stewart commented, “During a visit to Eigg last summer residents advised me of the difficulty they were experiencing in having some makes of scrap cars removed from the island.

 “I have discovered that legislation places responsibility on car manufacturers to take back vehicles they have produced once they have reached the end of their life-span.

 “An additional requirement is that if the owner of the vehicle lives more than 30 miles from an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF) the manufacturer must offer free collection.

 Mr Stewart continued, “I looked into this problem on behalf of the local residents and discovered that two companies are sub-contacted to carry out this work on behalf of car manufacturers with the obligation being split on motor vehicle brand lines.

 “We were aware that a company called Cartakeback collected from Eigg but have since discovered that another company, namely Autogreen, are responsible for removing the remaining vehicle types.

 “I wrote to Autogreen and was delighted by their positive response.

 “They advised that they have a contract with an ATF on the mainland that visits Eigg at least once a month to collect vehicles.”

 “I understand that approximately 15 vehicles a year require to be removed from Eigg, having reached their end of their useful life.

 “On a small island this can have a considerable effect on the landscape and given the drive by islanders to implement green policies, they were rightly concerned that these vehicles should be disposed of in the appropriate manner.

 “Indeed, Eigg recently shared first prize in the Big Green Challenge, a national environmental award.”

Written by davidstewart

January 29, 2010 at 9:18 am

Posted in Uncategorized