Lothian council blames junk mail for grants snub

The grants came after Hall's closed in Broxburn
The grants came after Hall's closed in Broxburn

THE names of firms handed more than £6 million in grants have been concealed – over fears they’ll receive junk mail.

West Lothian Council claims publishing the details of companies they are helping to create jobs “runs the risk” of making them susceptible to receiving more leaflets and flyers.

When 1700 people lost their jobs as a result of the Hall’s of Broxburn food factory closing in 2013, nearly £30 million was pledged by the council and the Scottish Government to try to resurrect the local economy.

But the council turned down a Freedom of Information request on full details of £6.2m worth of grants issued to 155 firms which the council claims have created and secured more than 910 jobs.

It claimed that publishing the information “runs the risk of these companies being susceptible to direct mailing from businesses” and ruling that the public interest was best served by withholding the data.

A West Lothian Council spokesman said: “All grants are scrutinised to ensure they offer good value for money.”