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‘Good progress’ being made on outstanding ferry issues – Forbes

Glen Sannox was originally due to sail in 2018 (Jane Barlow/PA)
Glen Sannox was originally due to sail in 2018 (Jane Barlow/PA)

“Good progress” is being made in resolving more than 200 issues on the overdue ferries at Ferguson Marine, Finance Secretary Kate Forbes has said.

However she faced calls to put her job on the line if the Glen Sannox was not delivered by this time next year.

The Conservatives asked her about the ferries in the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday, saying reports at the weekend had suggested the number of faults on the two vessels has risen.

The Herald on Sunday newspaper reported there were 237 outstanding faults on the ferries, the first of which was originally due to enter service in 2018.

Scottish Parliament
Jamie Greene asked the Finance Secretary to put her job on the line (Fraser Bremner)

Tory MSP Jamie Greene said: “Let me ask the Cabinet Secretary, on a confidence level of one to 10, how confident is she that the Glen Sannox will be sailing passengers to Brodick by this time next year?

“And in the spirit of taking responsibility, will she put her job on the line if it doesn’t?”

Ms Forbes said a senior member of the government’s ferry-owning company CMAL was now seconded with the Ferguson Marine team in Port Glasgow, Inverclyde.

She said CMAL had compiled a list of owner observation reports (OORs), which stood at 237 in March.

Scottish Budget 2022-23
Kate Forbes said solving the issues was ‘critically important’ (Fraser Bremner)

The Finance Secretary said: “Good progress is being made in clearing those issues.

“So the list of OORs was assessed and 119 are assessed as category one, the rest are assessed as minor snagging.

“Within that 119, there are engineering solutions for 83 leaving 36 that are still being worked on.

“Solutions are expected progressively without delays or impacts on the programme.”

She continued: “Solving all these issues is critically important.

“It’s part of the programme and I think we’ve got the best people on the ground to do that.”

Mr Greene replied: “We do have good people, but what we don’t have is an answer.

“No cast-iron guarantee and once again no-one in the SNP is willing to take full responsibility for the delivery of this project or the delivery of those vessels.”