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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 August, 2003, 11:33 GMT 12:33 UK
Pastures new for forestry body
The agency's headquarters will be in Inverness
The agency's headquarters will be in Inverness
The new headquarters of a government agency dealing with Scotland's forestry are to be relocated in Inverness.

The plan is part of a controversial Scottish Executive policy to move public sector jobs out of the capital.

The announcement that Forest Enterprise Scotland will be located in the highland capital brought disappointment to staff in Dumfries who hoped the head office would go to the south west.

Forest Enteprise Scotland was created in April after a post-devolution review of the UK Forestry Commission.

City status

The agency is responsible for putting into practice the Scottish Executive's forestry policy.

The predecessor agency had a headquarters in Edinburgh and territorial offices in Dumfries and Inverness.

Dumfries staff argued against the Inverness site saying it had already benefited from receiving city status and the transfer of Scottish Natural Heritage's (SNH) head office from Edinburgh.

The Public and Commercial Services (PCS) union said SNH is in breach of employment law because it has not properly consulted the 270 staff about the reasons for the move or discussed ways of avoiding redundancies.

However, Inverness has again been chosen as the executive's preferred location for Forest Enterprise Scotland.

Despite the prospect of "sharing" some head office functions, the mood in Dumfries was one of disappoinment and south west Tory and Scottish National Party MSPs have already condemned it as a snub.


SEE ALSO:
Legal challenge to SNH move
28 Jul 03  |  Scotland


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