‘Sheer Hypocrisy’ claim as local news group confirm redundancies

SPP ‘continue to support local communities’

NORTHERN SCOT OWNERS Scottish Provincial Press insist that they remain “committed to their communities” despite finally confirming that 11 members of their staff will be made redundant at the end of this month.

The jobs will go from SPP production offices in Elgin, Wick, Golspie and Inverness when pre-press processing work will be outsourced to India-based Express KCC.

In a statement published on the business page of the Northern Scot this week, SPP – who also publish the Forres Gazette and Banffshire Advertiser – say that they are “following in the footsteps of other major media groups in Scotland” by outsourcing its pre-press process.

Express KCC is described as a ‘global production hub’ that already works for such as Johnston Press, who publish The Scotsman newspaper as well as several weekly titles.

Defending their decision, SPP’s managing director Thelma Henderson said that while regrettable the move was required for the group to “survive and thrive”, adding: “We need to adapt, but we are still a company that is deeply rooted in the communities we serve and totally committed to them.”

SPP support over 240 jobs over all their titles published in the Highlands, Moray and Aberdeenshire, with Ms Henderson adding that the group is injecting “significant sums into these communities through both salaries and by prioritising local suppliers whenever possible”.

Last night the Moray councillor who sparked a petition calling for a reversal of the decision, Sean Morton, said that it was notable there was no mention in the statement of the online protest, which had reached almost 450 signatures.

He said: “Tucked away in the middle of The Northern Scot is the statement from Scottish Provincial Press saying they remain committed to their communities – despite outsourcing jobs from here to India.

“They give no explanation. It’s clear they just want to be able to pay people miles away far less rather than pay local people. It’s sheer hypocrisy for a company that has been strident in its criticism of others for cutting jobs.

“To print this statement in their publications without mentioning the fact that hundreds of people have signed our petition against the cuts tells you just how little they are listening to the communities they supposedly remain committed to.”