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Last Updated: Monday, 19 June 2006, 08:37 GMT 09:37 UK
Scotland: Lack of enterprise?
Stephen Low
The Politics Show Scotland

Scottish Enterprise
Job cuts at Scottish Enterprise?

Are Scotland's poorest communities paying the price for a Scottish Enterprise bail out?

Scottish Enterprise is set to cut 6m from the budget of its Glasgow operation, the Politics Show can exclusively reveal.

Amongst the cuts will be an almost 1m withdrawal of funding from local development companies that serve the poorest areas of the city.

That is a decision which has left local politicians angry, and questioning Scottish Enterprises' priorities.

Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency, funded by the Scottish Executive.

In 2006 it ran into financial crisis culminating in a 50m bail out.

2007 will see a budget cut across the operation, and the Politics Show's Christine Macleod has obtained details of where some of those cuts will fall.

Scottish Enterprise denial

We put the rumours that 10m of cuts were to be implemented on the budget of Local Enterprise Company (LEC) Scottish Enterprise Glasgow to Charlene O' Connor a director of Scottish Enterprise.

She told us that "I can confirm that there are no plans to cut millions of pounds from Scottish Enterprise Glasgow's budgets".

We asked to see the budget and were shown figures that clearly showed that the budget of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow is to fall from 61m last year to 55m in the coming year.

Politics Show investigation

When we pointed this out the figures were taken away from us and we were told they are not yet to be made publicly available.

We asked again what the reduction in the Scottish Enterprise Glasgow Budget was to be this time we were told " What the actual figure will look like I've yet to see.

"There will be some reduction I'm sure in the core budget of Scottish Enterprise Glasgow as is happening in some other Local Enterprise Companies [but] I can't give the figure just now I don't have it."

No lack of support

Scottish Enterprise maintain that this budget reduction does not signal a lack of support for Glasgow.

They maintain that 3m of the cut to Scottish Enterprise Glasgow can be accounted for by the end of the Finnieston Bridge project, and that spending on Scottish Enterprise national projects in the city will mean that support for the city will not be reduced.

Feeling the pinch?

Some areas however will feel the pinch. Scottish Enterprise Glasgow provides some of the funding for eight Local Development Companies (LDCs) which are based in some of the most run down areas of the city.

These are to have their core funding removed - a cut of 900 000 across Glasgow.

It is a move that has angered some. One of the LDCs - Castlemilk Economic Development Association (CEDA) - is in the constituency of Charlie Gordon MSP.

He is dismayed at cuts to an agency he believes does a great job for people in his area.

"I want these cuts reviewed because its disgraceful that front line organisations like CEDA who are exceeding their targets are being punished in this way and I want Scottish Enterprise Glasgow to tell us the full implications ..."

Stark situation

For Ian Davidson , MP for Glasgow South West and a member of the Board of Greater Pollok Development Company which is also seeing it's funding reduced the situation is even more stark

"We have spent 47, 000 to train 60 local people to get jobs there so the loss of 110,000 will mean that 150 - 200 people will not have the opportunity to get a job and will not have the opportunity of sharing in the prosperity of an area like this.

"I think it is a shocking indictment of Scottish Enterprise that they are prepared to make these cuts that are going to effect the poorest areas the most."

He is similarly unimpressed with the idea that overall spending in the City will make up for cuts in the LDCs.

"It certainly would not be a justification to take money away from an area like this - because something that happens in the harbour development, building houses for Yuppies does not improve the life chances of poor areas here.

Watch Glenn Campbell's interview with Charlie Gordon about Scottish Enterprise on the Politics Show Scotland

Politics Show

Watch Glenn Campbell's Interview with Scottish Conservative leader Annabel Goldie on the Politics Show Scotland.

Tune into the Politics Show Scotland, on BBC One on Sunday 25 June 2006 at 12.00pm.

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