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by Louise Wilson
30 May 2024
Interim chief of troubled shipyard to be paid travel expenses from Canada home

Ferguson Marine shipyard is in Port Glasgow | Alamy

Interim chief of troubled shipyard to be paid travel expenses from Canada home

The interim CEO of government-owned shipbuilder Ferguson Marine can claim travel expenses to his work in Port Glasgow from his home in Canada, Scottish Government officials have confirmed.

John Petticrew became the temporary chief after David Tydeman was sacked from the job at the end of March.

That followed warnings that further delays to the delivery of two ferries, already well overbudget and several years late, were likely.

The matter was raised at a meeting of the parliament’s Public Audit Committee on Thursday morning, when Tory MSP Graham Simpson raised the terms under which Petticrew has been employed.

Government officials said this was a “contractual matter” but confirmed that no relocation package had been paid as Petticrew, who is on a six-month contract as interim CEO, continues to live in Canada.

Dermot Rhatigan, deputy director of the strategic commercial assets division with the government, added: “Like all other employees at the yard, he’s entitled to claim for travel and subsistence.”

Seeking clarification, Simpson asked: “Travel expenses from Canada?”

Rhatigan replied: “The details of that, I don’t know what he has claimed for. It would be what he would be claiming for under his expenses – I don’t have the detail of that.

“But he would be entitled to claim for expenses that he incurred as part of needing to be here to undertake his duties in Scotland.”

He also said the government did not have details on how often Petticrew was making the journey other than to say he was not travelling weekly.

The shipyard is building two ferries for the Clyde and Hebrides route. Glen Sannox and Glen Rosa were initially meant to be delivered in 2018, costing £97m.

But neither vessel has yet entered service and the price has ballooned to almost £300m.

Petticrew, previously a board member, is the third chief of the troubled yard since it was nationalised in 2019.

Tydeman had been brought in in 2022 after Tim Hair, the turnaround director, stepped down from the role after just two years.

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