I was extremely disappointed by leaflets produced by an SNP Council candidate for Plains in North Lanarkshire.
The leaflets state that Alex Neil, Airdrie and Shotts MSP and Cabinet Secretary for Infrastructure and Capital Investment, has “secured funding [through the recently announced rail improvement fund]…to construct a station at Plains”.
This statement is premature to say the least.
The leaflet goes on to criticise North Lanarkshire Council for not applying for the funding, and to promise that “if elected” the candidate will ensure a station is built.
A genereous description of these assertions is that they are ill-informed and misleading. A couple of days after the £30 million rail improvement fund was announced, officials from North Lanarkshire Council contacted the Scottish Government to request details about the application process. Moreover, Alex Neil only recently stated that, given his ministerial commitments, he is unable to directly intervene on the issue of Plains station.
In a single leaflet, the SNP is attempting to claim credit for a non-existent station at Plains, deny responsbility for current and past failings, and lay the blame elsewhere.
I would much rather look to the facts, and the facts tell me that were it not for the decision by former SNP Transport Minister to veto the Plains proposals back in 2007, there would already be a station.
Regardless of the claims of the SNP’s spurious leaflets, Scottish Labour, along with North Lanarkshire Council, remains fully committed to building a station at Plains, and we will work together to try and make it a reality.
If they have any respect for the residents of Plains, the SNP should pulp these disingenuous leaflets.