The co-leader of Aberdeen City Council claims there is “considerable work to be done” to overcome the challenges the north-east faces following the oil downturn.
Jenny Laing’s comments come following the winding up of the Scottish Government’s Energy Jobs Taskforce, which has been disbanded yesterday on signs of recovery in the struggling sector.
Work will continue to support the North Sea industry and its workforce, but it will be carried forward by other organisations under the oversight of an Industry Leadership Group.
But Ms Laing said the impact of the downturn on the north-east economy was at risk of moving out of the “spotlight” while the industry still requires “vital” support.
She said: “We were obviously delighted when the Scottish Government agreed to set up the task force and have worked with them to try and provide support to individuals and business affected by the downturn.
“However we believe there is still considerable work to be done in this area given figures released by Oil and Gas UK indicating the industry continues to face severe challenges and further significant job losses over the next year.
“This coupled with the problems caused by the disproportionate business rates increases in Aberdeen and the North East means the local economy will still require significant and targeted support from Scottish Government.
“It is clearly a matter for the First Minister and the Scottish Government to determine how ongoing support for the oil and gas industry is delivered but we are concerned that today’s announcement may mean that this issue is removed from the spotlight and we fear the vital support the industry still requires will not be forth coming.”
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