WEST Fife businesses are being urged to join an energy summit aimed at helping firms tackle the escalating energy costs crisis.

Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath MP Neale Hanvey is inviting businesses based in his constituency to attend an event on March 28 which he hopes could lead to companies working together to look at solutions.

The Alba politician said that a growing number of local firms were contacting him for support with all sectors struggling with crippling running costs.

“I have spoken to businesses across the constituency who are coming to the end of a fixed-tariff contract, and it’s panic stations as they are finding their bills double, or even triple, overnight," he said.

“Despite a recent fall in wholesale prices, energy companies are failing to pass this on and are not offering good deals, with some pulling out of the high-use, high-risk business division altogether.

“Despite calling on the Chancellor to increase business support, they’ve actually cut it, and both the UK and Scottish governments seem ambivalent at best about this urgent and pressing matter. In energy rich Scotland many business owners are understandably angry that vast profits and revenues go to the energy giants and His Majesty’s Treasury, when they find their business under threat and are plagued by sleepless night.

“It is totally unacceptable and utterly indefensible.”

Mr Hanvey said he has has frequently raised these issues in Parliament and challenged energy giants operating in the constituency and off the Fife coast.

“Unfortunately, my pleas for support have been either dismissed out of hand or have been met with derisory tokenism," he added. "Energy corporations are more than happy to exploit Scotland’s oil and gas, wind, tidal and hydro resource to the tune of billions of pounds every year.

"The UK Government are also content to let the tax receipts flow in from Scotland’s vast natural resources, but they are failing the very communities from where they suck up that wealth.

“Without action, the local business landscape could be decimated in only a few short months. This will undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on already rising levels of poverty and deprivation.

"I have knocked on every door, but the necessary help has been denied. I believe as a community we must now take action ourselves to mitigate this crisis. There are a range of potential actions, such as a collective negotiation with a single supplier or consider bulk energy purchasing at a community level.

“I have been exploring these options with businesses across the constituency and I am calling on business owners to join my Energy Summit at Fife Ice Arena in Kirkcaldy on March 28 where we will look at ways to achieve this.

"If you are struggling with commercial energy costs, you are not alone. We must work collectively and I urge you to sign up now.”

To reserve a space at the summit, search for Business Energy Costs Summit on www.eventbrite.co.uk.