Friday, November 12, 2010

Rok - questions for HIE?

Spare a thought for those just paid off from Rok, unemployment isn’t fun for anyone but it is doubly cruel to find oneself on the dole just six weeks before Christmas through no fault of your own. Hopefully some jobs will be saved once the administrators get a better idea of some of Rok’s ongoing contracts. Let’s also hope anyone owed money by Rok also sees some cash before Christmas too.
Today in the Courier (not on line yet) you can read the following:

“Meanwhile questions are being asked about Highlands and Islands Enterprise’s decision to award Rok a £32 million Contract in September, despite the firm reporting a £3.8 million loss for the first half of the year and admitting serious operational problems in August.
Mrs Scanlon and Inverness economist Tony Mackay want to know whether HIE carried out sufficient checks before striking the deal for Rok to take on the agency’s building work for the next four years.” More in today’s Courier.

Today The West Highland Free Press has an editorial that raises similar points. They are concerned about the ongoing projects at Arnish Fabrication Yard and Raasay House. The Pàipear Beag also refers to the £32 million contract:

“Two months later the property framework contract looks pretty silly. Highlands and Islands Enterprise will not say how much of the £32 million has been irretrievably released.
They must do so. If the future of the Arnish and Raasay developments are now jeopardised or compromised, it is the responsibility fo HIE to let the public – who are their investors and employers – know the full details.”

Another blast of a chill economic wind to add to the region’s woes and all this before the closure of (perhaps 2) RAF bases and the culling of the public sector.