Fresh faces

Sturgeon replaces economic advisers with new team

New faces: Lynne Cadenhead, Graeme Roy, Sharon White

Nicola Sturgeon has abolished her Council of Economic Advisers and appointed a replacement team that includes a former Treasury mandarin who challenged the SNP’s currency plans.

The government has suffered a chequered recent history with the former council, notably its strained relationship with Clyde Blowers tycoon Jim McColl over the collapse of his Ferguson Marine shipyard.

Some members of the now defunct group continue to advise the government, but the new Advisory Council represents an attempt to freshen up policy.

One surprising appointment is that of Sir Nick MacPherson, a former Permanent Secretary to the Treasury. In the run up to the referendum campaign in 2014 he advised Chancellor George Osborne against the SNP’s plan for a currency union should Scotland vote to leave the UK.

The appointment to the new council of Dame Sharon White, chairman of the John Lewis Partnership, reflects a need to tackle the crisis on the high street.

She is joined by former Skyscanner executive Mark Logan who produced a key paper last summer on the digital economy.

Lynne Cadenhead, chairman of Women’s Enterprise Scotland, and the academics Prof Anton Muscatelli and Prof Graeme Roy also join the 17-member council which will be chaired by Economy Secretary Kate Forbes.

Kate Forbes

Kate Forbes: ambitious strategy (pic: Terry Murden)

It is working on a 10-year National Strategy that will “prioritise investment in the industries of the future and deliver new, good and green jobs.”

It will be published in late autumn and a smaller group of members will be asked to oversee its implementation.

Ms Forbes said: As we emerge from the pandemic, we must work together to seize Scotland’s potential and build an economy for everyone by delivering greater, greener and fairer prosperity.

One Comment to Sturgeon replaces economic advisers with new team

  1. Isn’t it staggering that neither the chairmen or CEOs of both Scottish Enterprise or HIE have been invited to sit on this new Council? Particularly as they just appointed a new CEO at SE at have the pricipal author of the Smith report as chairman of SE. The economic development agencies are the only significant bodies which might be able to help deliver whatever proposals are raised by the new Council – yet they have no voice in their development. In any event the SNP administration will ignore what the Council proposes – they never paid any attention to the old Council – indeed few of the Council members ever turned up to meetings regularly and the First minister rarely attended. If you read the minutes of the old CEA meetings the Council rarely challenged the SNP adminstration and came up with no original bold plans of their own. This is simply more window dressing from an adminstarion that has no ideas of its own and which believes that talking about a problem and making promises gives the appearance of action. Box ticked!

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