To say that the latest developments at Hall’s of Broxburn are disappointing is a massive understatement.
After weeks of intensive assessment of the set-up at Hall’s, the Scottish Government and West Lothian Council, in partnership with other public agencies, proposed a creative funding offer to help save the plant.
That offer included much needed investment and greater security for the future. But its rejection by Dutch owners Vion calls into question its commitment to saving Hall’s and the 1700 jobs that rely on it.
Sadly, it appears that the company’s top brass are now determined to press ahead with closing the plant, a move which would bring hardship to workers and their families.
When this crisis first emerged in July, I predicted a massive local fightback in support of the workforce and that is certainly what we have seen. West Lothian Council has done everything within its power, the workplace union Usdaw has fought all the way for its members and local people have rallied round to give their support.
The fight to secure the best possible outcome will go on. It now appears that finding a buyer is the only viable option for saving it. With John Swinney having said other parties have expressed an interest, I remain hopeful. However, time is against us and, with the 90-day consultation set to close on October 3, it is imperative that any firms interested in buying Halls come forward now. I know the taskforce will continue to work tirelessly in pursuit of a solution and I will support those efforts.
• Graeme Morrice is the Labour MP for Livingston