Highlands MSP wants further probe into running of Cairngorm Mountain
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Highlands and Islands MSP Edward Mountain has asked a Holyrood committee to hold an inquiry into the management of Cairngorm Mountain.
The Scottish Conservative politician has urged the Scottish Parliament’s Public Audit and Post-Legislative Scrutiny Committee to conduct its own probe into the running of the resort following the publication of an Audit Scotland report.
In the request to Anas Sarwar MSP, acting convener of the PAPLS Committee, Mr Mountain states: “I would be very grateful if you could confirm if as a result of the latest Audit Scotland Report into HIE: Management of Cairngorm Mountain and funicular railway, the Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee will be looking at the report.
“There is a lot of unhappiness locally in the inability of HIE to understand the lease which they drew up and which has left a massive cost to the taxpayer.”
Mr Mountain is a vocal campaigner for a long-term and sustainable business plan for the Cairngorm Mountain resort.
He told the Strathy the Audit Scotland report had highlighted a number of serious failings at the attraction.
"It suggests that HIE mismanaged their commercial contract with the previous operators of Cairngorm Mountain. There was a lack of scrutiny, a lack of regular monitoring and a lack of documentation," said the MSP
"However, the report raises more questions than answers. This is why I am requesting that the PAPLS Committee hold an inquiry and take evidence from the Scottish Government, HIE and the previous operators of Cairngorm Mountain.
"Badenoch and Strathspey needs Cairngorm Mountain to have a long-term and sustainable future, but for that to happen lessons need to be learnt from the failures of the past.”
The committee name changed from Public Audit Committee to Finance and Public Audit and Post-legislative Scrutiny Committee in September 2016.
Its remit includes considering and reporting on any accounts laid before the Parliament; and any report laid before or made to the parliament by the Auditor General for Scotland; or any other document laid before the Parliament, or referred to it by the Parliamentary Bureau or by the Auditor General for Scotland, concerning financial control, accounting and auditing in relation to public expenditure.
The recently released Audit Scotland report on Cairngorm Mountain can be read here