Central Fife Cattery Owner Seeks Answers To Lack Of Support
A CENTRAL Fife cattery owner challenged the government to do more after finding itself without consistent funding throughout the pandemic.
When the pandemic hit, many businesses across Central Fife and beyond were forced to close their doors and put their employees on leave as they were given non-essential status, but boarding schools like kennels and catteries did. been left on their own as they were left open but with no clients in sight.
In what is largely a tourism-driven industry, kennels and catteries have suffered throughout the pandemic due to long-term travel restrictions that have kept their customers from traveling overseas and have subsequently prevented their pets from registering in places such as Bucklyvie’s Cattery, which Maureen Cuthbertson owns Crossgates.
Speaking to The Times about her struggles over the past year, Maureen said: “At the moment I am awaiting a response from the Scottish government. I filed an official complaint at the end of March, to take the second step because I was not happy. The boarding school industry has just been put aside. ”
After countless attempts to receive not only funding, but responses, Maureen praised the local government for its role in successfully securing a one-time discretionary fund.
She said: “The local government wants to help us; I can’t say they pushed me aside because they were very constructive in what they did.
“I think we only got the discretionary grant because of the board members, I think they pushed for kennels and catteries to be included.”
When asked what she thinks about government at large, Maureen said she thought ‘it is the Scottish government that does not take into account what is going on here’.
She continued: ‘If I don’t get a response I’m going to have to go to the Scottish Public Service Ombudsman and see if there is a case that needs to be answered and I think there is. to one.”
Maureen believes the effects of this lockdown will persist for her and her business long after the restrictions are fully lifted.
While business at the moment is normally booming, with every placeholder, Maureen currently only has one chat with her.
“I don’t think he’s going to get back to the normal level that we need. I think we will suffer, even if other companies leave ”.
With tensions rising in the sector, Maureen is still fighting for answers and believes the solution may lie in funds given to the Scottish government by Westminster.
According to the Scottish Government’s budget statement for 2021-2022, an additional £ 300million has been confirmed to support businesses, with special mention to the taxi and wedding sectors.
Maureen added, “I would like them to give us the proper funding. We need help, looking back and we need help now because things are not improving for us. ”