The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) met the Scottish National Party (SNP) at its Annual Conference in Perth to hear first-hand from government ministers and party officials about their ideas and policies – and to explain the role of merchants and the Federation itself in the building materials’ supply chain.
Graham Bolton, BMF Scottish regional manager, and Brett Amphlett, BMF policy manager, met representatives from the Scottish, United Kingdom and European Parliaments and spoke to MSPs who serve on the Cross-Party Group on Construction at Holyrood.
Bolton outlined the BMF’s regional activity and explained how membership is steadily growing, while Amphlett updated politicians having canvassed BMF members only a fortnight before, at the Scottish Regional Meeting held in Uddingston, Lanarkshire.
The policy manager talked to MPs and MSPs who represent constituencies in Aberdeenshire, Angus and Edinburgh. The aim was to learn more about the Scottish Government’s current objectives and discuss some specific policies – notably differences in public funding of vocational training & skills from that which applies in England.
The main meeting was with Stewart Hosie, MP for Dundee East. Only a few hours’ earlier, Mr Hosie was elected Deputy Leader in succession to Nicola Sturgeon, who took over as Leader and First Minister from Alex Salmond. Stewart Hosie has met the BMF before, and confirmed the SNP supports the push for a 5% VAT rate on property RMI work.
Graham Bolton, BMF regional manager, said: “I was delighted to have the chance to discuss some of the issues merchants face. We wanted to know the SNP’s thinking and brief them about our supply chain. It was a day well spent.
“I can share the insight we gained about what existing and new BMF members might expect from the SNP in the months prior to, and beyond, the General Election on 7 May.”