Environment Jobs at Risk

27 October 2009


Peter Peacock, Highlands and Islands regional Labour MSP, is seeking reassurance over voluntary sector jobs as a result of SHN budget cuts.

It comes as a senior Scottish Government official gave evidence to the Rural Affairs committee that grants SNH give to many voluntary organisations could be under threat.

Mr Peacock said: "SNH are facing a very stark cut in their budget, which means some of the valuable work they help to fund could be under threat.

"They are not the direct employer, but the cash they allocate to community projects through grants could mean voluntary sector jobs are at risk.

"There are a huge variety of organisations supported by SNH from Trees for Life to the Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust, for example, but schools and those protecting some of our iconic bird species could also be affected.

"SNH provide funds to a huge array of environmental projects which could be threatened and unable to continue without ongoing grant support."

Mr Peacock said: "I have a very real worry that some very worthy causes doing vitally important environmental work could loose out.

"The SNP government have spent so much public money on national conversations, advancing their plans for independence and having pursued eye catching give-away policies they have put themselves under far greater financial pressure than is necessary.

"This puts pressure on all those trying to deliver important public services, like SNH and those they fund.

"I have written to the Environment Minister asking for the guidance he has offered SNH on how to prioritise budget cuts to grant aided organisations to find out where the government want to see organisations protected and which they will be happy to see go to the wall. I look forward to his response."


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