Angus MacDonald Welcomes Procurement App Launch

New App Will Benefit SMEs in Falkirk District

SNP Economic Development spokesperson Councillor Angus MacDonald has welcomed the launch of a new app which will ensure local businesses never miss a new sales lead. Scotland's main public sector procurement body, Public Contract Scotland (PCS), the Scottish Government's purchasing portal, has launched the world's first app specifically designed to alert business to new contract opportunities from the public sector - a market worth £9 billion annually.

The PCS procurement app will allow businesses to access contract notices as they are posted and will work with Apple iPhones and iPads, with plans to roll out to other mobile phone models. App users will be able to access information more easily and faster than by browsing on the mobile web, as well as search notices by category, commodity and date.

The new app will work alongside the PCS portal - both of which are free of charge - to offer users a level of functionality that is unequalled in other centrally-provided systems. The launch of the app further demonstrates how Scotland is leading the way internationally in harnessing technology to make public sector purchasing more efficient.

Councillor MacDonald commented:

“This new app from Public Contract Scotland (PCS) will be of great benefit to local SMEs in Falkirk district, who I hope will embrace this new technology which will make contract opportunities even more accessible to suppliers; will help to make public sector procurement more transparent and competitive; and play a key role in achieving efficiency improvements at this challenging economic period.”

The launch of the app recognises the importance of SMEs to the public sector, which make up 80 per cent of current suppliers and account for 45-50 per cent of spend to contracting organisations across the country. For SMEs, which often don't have dedicated teams focusing on tender submissions, and where staff responsible for winning new business are often required to be out of the office, the ability to monitor potential new deals on the move has real benefits.

Launched two years ago, PCS has over 48,000 registered suppliers and published 11,000 business opportunities between August 2009 and July 2010. It is estimated that each registered supplier saves over 400 pounds per year in time and resources searching for public sector business opportunities advertised through other channels, the overall efficiency saving is estimated at more than 36 million pounds over three years.

For more information visit http://www.publiccontractsscotland.gov.uk

SNP Welcome £23k Scottish Government Stamp of Approval for Bo’ness Post Office


Jamie Hepburn, SNP MSP for Central Scotland, and Cllr Angus Macdonald, SNP Candidate for Falkirk East, have welcomed the announcement from the SNP Scottish Government that Bo’ness Post Office will benefit from a £23,000 award from its Post Office Diversification Fund [1].

The fund, collectively worth £1million across Scotland, is designed to help Post Offices launch new business activities, boosting their vital role in supporting communities and local economies.  A total of 49 Post Offices across Scotland have benefited from awards of up to £25,000 each.

Commenting, Jamie Hepburn MSP said:

“This is excellent news for Bo’ness Post Office and the community it serves.

“While the Tory-Lib Dem UK Government is resurrecting Labour’s plans to privatise mail services, the SNP Scottish Government is making investments which recognise the vital role the Post Office plays in local communities.

“I was hugely disappointed, as were most local residents when the previous Labour Government closed Grangepans Post Office.  I hope this investment in the Bo’ness branch will safeguard its future for years to come.”

Cllr Angus Macdonald added:

“Many Post Offices have struggled during the economic downturn, and this SNP Government funding will be a real boost for Bo’ness Post Office.

“Local Post Offices such as Bo’ness are at the heart of their communities, and this funding will help launch new initiatives to attract customers while protecting the vital post office counter services that so many people rely upon.”

MacDonald welcomes rise in public opposition to Trident


As Westminater cuts bite, majority support conventional defence  

A YouGov poll, conducted during the defence review last week shows rising opposition to trident nuclear weapons at a time of conventional defence cuts.

The poll shows 67% of people opposed Government spending on renewing trident nuclear weapons at a time of cuts to conventional defence.  A majority of voters across all parties agreed that the Government should not buy a replacement for Trident and secure the conventional defences.

Welcoming the poll results the SNP’s candidate for Falkirk East, Councillor Angus MacDonald said it was “a clear indication that with Westminster cuts beginning to bite it was increasingly unacceptable for money to be spent on new nuclear weapons”.

The YouGov poll was conducted in the week of the UK Government’s Strategic Defence and Security Review which announced the closure of RAF Kinloss and created uncertainty over the future of RAF Lossiemouth, Fort George and the Army’s Edinburgh HQ.

Angus MacDonald continued:

“This poll result comes just months after remarks by the former deputy commander-in-chief of UK land forces, General Sir Hugh Beach, who said that the UK's Trident missile system is no use and that no more money should be wasted on it.  

“Labour are just as guilty as the Tories on this issue as they also planned to waste £25 billion on a new Trident nuclear weapons system even in the face of huge spending cuts to Scotland being imposed from Westminster.

“On one hand the ConDem government is slashing £1.3 billion from next year’s Scottish budget and cutting £800 million of capital projects yet we have the insane intention of the UK Government, of whatever hue, to keep on wasting millions on a weapon of mass destruction that former high ranking UK officers view as a waste of money.

Angus continued:

“Trident is frankly obscene, and in the current economic climate it must be obvious that these resources should be better spent on health, policing and education in Falkirk East and all across Scotland, not to mention our conventional armed forces, who have been plagued with poor quality equipment for some time.

“People are clearly struggling to understand, at a time when budgets are being slashed by Tories and LibDems in London, why renewal of these weapons has not been ruled out completely.

“The Tory and Lib Dem Government may not have said much about Trident in the last week but it is still going ahead.  Instead of delay – which will no doubt increase cost – the LibDems should use what little influence they have and see Trident’s replacement scrapped for good.

“Even Tory voters now agree that spending money on new nuclear weapons is wasteful.

“Trident is morally wrong, it is now economically insane and there is an increasingly clear view from the public that they do not want these weapons on our shores.

Copyright © Angus MacDonald MSP 2017

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