Secrecy over Remploy has to be torn down

Remploy Factory, Banbeath Industrial Estate, Leven.
Remploy Factory, Banbeath Industrial Estate, Leven.

The Government has been accused of drawing a “veil of secrecy” over the future of Remploy’s operation in Leven and Cowdenbeath.

And now MPs Lindsay Roy, Gordon Brown and Thomas Docherty, are demanding it comes clean by revealing who owns the design of the 30,000 lifejackets manufactured every year at the factories, due to close on September 6.

With concerns they could be stripped of their assets and the work sent abroad the MPs have submitted a freedom of information request calling for the full facts to be made available.

The MPs had met with Minister for the Disabled Esther McVey last week, who despite promising to fully consider any 11th hour bids, couldn’t provide clarification over a number of points including who owned the design, copyright issues, details of social enterprise bids for assets and how the assets would be valued.

A meeting has now been arranged with Alan Hill, director of Remploy Enterprise, in Kirkcaldy today (Wednesday) for him to answer the questions.

Mr Roy told the Mail: “We were deeply disappointed that Esther McVey and her team could not provide this vital information – they should have been much better prepared - however, we are pleased that it has been confirmed that any new bids received in the short term will be considered.

“Concerns about the whole process are magnified when there is an apparent veil of secrecy, and the Government and Remploy board must be as open and transparent as possible.”