SNP must act on regulation of electricians
In a first step towards the regulation of electricians, Scottish Conservative MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has begun the process of introducing a private members’ bill to the Scottish Parliament.
It follows a debate in October, where MSPs from across all political parties represented in Holyrood gave their support for providing protection of title, preventing unqualified people from calling themselves electricians.
Over 100 professions are currently protected in law, including registered gas engineers, but not electricians. The Conservative MSP has highlighted the serious dangers that unqualified and poor quality electrical work can create.
The issue of protection of title has been considered previously by the Scottish Government’s working group on electricians but, after meeting a number of times over the last two years, no decisions have been made about a change to the law.
Mr Halcro Johnston has now met with Scottish parliamentary officials to begin the process of introducing a private members’ bill this week.
Jamie Halcro Johnston MSP said:
“For too long, the Scottish Government has dithered around the regulation of electricians.
“It has been discussed and discussed again, without any real commitments ever seeing the light of day.
“When I have spoken to people about this campaign, the first reaction is usually surprise that anyone can call themselves an electrician without any qualification. When so many other trades and professions are regulated, it seems the position of electricians is more of an anomaly than anything else.
“Most people don’t consult electricians on a regular basis and aren’t always confident about the qualifications of people they employ. This should provide some additional protection to consumers.
“Electrical safety is vitally important. Every year, there are fatalities caused by electric shocks and fires caused by electrical malfunctions. It is important that people carrying out electrical work are qualified and able to do so.
“I was pleased to get so much support from across the political parties when this was debated back in October and I would hope that support would carry across to introducing a Bill on the subject.”
Notes to editors:
Jamie Halcro Johnston has recently held meetings with SELECT, NICEIC and the Scottish Joint Industry Board for the Electrical Contracting Industry (Scottish JIB) on ways forward.
A private members’ bill requires support to be demonstrated across a number of parties before proceeding. The first main step before draft legislation is produced is to hold a consultation on proposals.
MP and MSP welcome sale of former Pinneys’ factory
Dumfriesshire Clydesdale and Tweeddale MP David Mundell and Dumfriesshire constituency MSP Oliver Mundell warmly welcomed the sale of the former Pinneys' food processing factory at Annan.
Both politicians have been involved in efforts to secure future employment on the 11-acre Stapleton Road complex since parent company Young's announced last winter they were closing the factory with the loss of more than 450 jobs.
David Mundell said: "I understand the buyer has a clear detailed long-term business plan for the site and, although the initial number of jobs may be significantly less than Pinneys' employed, more vacancies are expected as production expands.
"Fortunately most of the original Pinneys' workforce has found alternative employment although this encouraging development should mean work closer to home for some.
"It will be a real lift for the local economy after a very difficult year and I'm sure one of the attractions to the buyer was the excellent skills base, flexibility and dedication shown over many years of the local workforce."
Oliver Mundell was equally upbeat about the sale of the site and praised officials from various agencies, including the council and Scottish Development International (SDI), for working so hard to help secure a deal.
He said: "This development has lifted a dark shadow which has been hanging over Annan for many months.
"There was a fantastic campaign by former Pinneys workers and other townspeople to highlight the strengths of the workforce and I'm sure that proved one of the deal-makers for the purchaser.
"I'm particularly pleased that this large factory will come back into use soon as sitting empty for too long could eventually have led to it deteriorating."
The local father and son parliamentarians added that they stood ready to help in any way they could to help ensure an early resumption of production on the site.