MSP Jim Fairlie says OVO Energy chief Stephen Fitzpatrick must attend a meeting later this month to answer “vital questions” about the closure of its Perth office.
OVO Energy this week announced it is making 1,700 people redundant and shutting down its Perth base.
This is despite the energy company promising there would be no redundancies when it acquired SSE’s retail arm in January 2020.
Hundreds of staff were also laid off at the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
Adrian Letts, the CEO of OVO’s retail arm, has agreed to meet with local MPs, MSPs and councillors to discuss the developments.
However Mr Fairlie, MSP for Perthshire South and Kinross-shire, says OVO needs to go even further and ensure founder and chief executive Mr Fitzpatrick personally attends the meeting.
‘Fitzpatrick needs to make himself available’
Mr Fairlie claims the Perth office closure is a betrayal of the people of the city.
He says: “OVO has been an important employer in my constituency since buying SSE’s retail energy business, so this news is obviously very concerning indeed.
“It is welcome that OVO have agreed to meet, but given there are still vital questions that remain following promises made when OVO acquired SSE, I really believe that Stephen Fitzpatrick needs to make himself available.
“At the time we were told that the retail arm would remain headquartered in Perth, but within a very short period of ownership, OVO had started the process of redundancies.
“Given this absolutely devastating news for the Perth office, it is about time that we got some answers from those right at the top of the company.
“Mr Fitzpatrick talked a good game about expanding and developing the business, but that certainly doesn’t chime with what we are now seeing.
“I understand the challenging business landscape we are in, but good businesses thrive when they have support from a strong community around them and we have a fantastic community who have supported SSE and OVO for years.
“To have our community betrayed in this way, at this stage, is utterly devastating and I will be seeking to have this decision reversed.”