Select Committee on Scottish Affairs Appendices to the Minutes of Evidence


Memorandum from Woodrow's of Dunfermline Ltd. Soft Drink Manufacturers

  Woodrow's of Dunfermline Limited is a private company and has been in business since 1912 initially as a partnership and then a limited company from 1976. We manufacture soft drinks and distribute our products along with beers and ciders on a fleet of 30 delivery vehicles from our headquarters in Dunfermline and a depot in Oban.


  Scottish needs are different, our geography is different and our transport infrastructure is much poorer than south of the broader yet we have been penalised with the fuel duty escalator brought in because of the runaway growth in the use of the car south of the border. Scotland travels only half as many miles by car as the rest of the U.K. per head of population. The escalator has now been abandoned and a levy (details unknown) is to be introduced.

  Our fuel costs have increased 40 per cent in the last three years and 100 per cent in the last six years, December 1993 to December 1999. This is unacceptable. The costs are even higher for our Oban depot driving on many single-track roads.


  We have for some time been concerned that with a relatively small administration department the requirement to complete the various forms requested by, among others, the National Statistics Office places an enormous burden on the time of our staff. We have now recently been faced with yet another submission required by the Scottish Executive and are worried about the increasing amount of paperwork, which in our view, is unproductive use of our time.

  Also to be taken into account is the increasing time required on employment, health and safety, waste packaging and food hygiene legislation. While we appreciate the need for all of these no compensation is given towards the cost of the administration of these.


  Although we appreciate that the Chancellor has taken steps in his Autumn Statement to reduce the impact of this levy on manufacturing industries we are still anxious that this is another cost to be borne by us.


  The alcohol duty differences in our neighbouring states leads to more and more cross-border trading, therefore we must bring our duty into line with our European neighbours.

Woodrow's of Dunfermline Ltd.

January 2000

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