We need to create Energy Park jobs

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DOUBTS have been raised by a Levenmouth councillor that Methil’s Energy Park is on track to create the amount of jobs previously touted.

Since its creation, various councillors and renewable sector experts have claimed the hub will one day provide around 1000 jobs for the Levenmouth area.

However, Councillor Tom Adams says he’s growing sceptical about the Scottish Government’s commitment to green energy.

His doubts, he says, follow a Government announcement that the Cockenzie Power station is to be demolished and then rebuilt as a gas fired power station and other reports of BP investment into gas and oil exploration off the Shetland Isles.

In response, a spokesman for the Scottish Government told the Mail that Cllr Adams’ claims were “untrue”, and that the SNP Government was committed to both the Energy Park and the renewable sector.

Cllr Adams said: “I am starting to become concerned about the viability of Fife Energy Park.

“Over 800 turbines were promised at the mouth of the Forth by the last Labour Government, a figure that was expected to create around 1200 jobs for the area, although, that promised project has yet to take off.

“Good quality, well paid jobs are vital for my ward, which is one of the most deprived areas of Fife.

“If we are serious about getting rid of the deprivation, low confidence and benefit culture in this ward then we need the Energy Park to start production now.”

At last month’s meeting of Levenmouth area councillors, the committee heard that a projected 800 posts will be created at the park by 2019.

It was claimed by the council’s economic advisor, Glynn Scott, that some “big, big players” in the renewable energy sector were regularly sounding out the site.

The committee’s chair, Councillor David Alexander, suggested that should the jobs not materialise at the Levenmouth facility, the public would have every right to call elected members to account.

Cllr Adams, though, said the jobs promise had lingered on for too long, adding that the site was falling behind others in Scotland which were seeing a recognised boost in employment.

He said: “For the last four and a half years, since I became a councillor, we have been told that anything of up to 1200 jobs could be created – but we haven’t seen anything like that figure.

“In contrast, the Arndish yard in the north of Scotland has recently had a mini jobs boom.

“The schools and colleges are ready, Fife Council is ready, but is the Scottish Government up for the challenge?”