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AM calls 220 job losses ‘very troubling’

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LEE WATERS AM has called the announcement of 220 job losses from Schaeffler this week ‘very troubling’.

Schaeffler, which produces industrial and automotive parts globally, is closing its Llanelli base at Yspitty Road in Bynea, as well as a plant in Plymoth, over the next two years.
The closure of the two locations will result in over 500 job losses. The company will continue to operate at its base in Sheffield.
Citing Brexit as a major concern, the company said it would relocate its production to other plants in the US, South Korea, China and Germany.

Lee Waters said: “The announcement by Schaeffler this week is very troubling. Llanelli can’t afford to lose 220 high quality skilled jobs. I’m in touch with the company, the unions and the Welsh Government to see what can be done to try and save the factory.

“The Bynea plant has always had to flight for work within the company, and previous management had succeeded in making the old Ena Bearings plant a centre for innovation. It appears that demand for the parts is makes, and the performance of the plant has slipped.

“It’s hard to compete in a global economy.  This international company is easily able to shift production to factories with lower wage bills across the world. Schaeffler mentioned “uncertainty surrounding Brexit” as one factor behind the decision to leave Wales. Clearly this is isn’t the only factor, but we’ve been warning that the failure of the UK Government, more than two years after Brexit, to set out our future trading arrangements would harm businesses.

“Schaeffler exports 85% of the car parts it makes in Llanelli. When the company bosses look at where to put future investment it isn’t surprising that the prospect of barriers to exporting, and higher costs would be a factor in the decision-making..

“If we want to avoid other multinational manufacturing firms following suit it is essential that our future access to the single market is secured soon.

“This week’s awful news confirms a point I’ve been making since I was elected – we are too vulnerable to decisions made in distant boardrooms. Our economy is far too dependent on the whims of large multinationals whose shareholders and senior management have no ties to, or knowledge of Llanelli.

“Schaeffler, or it’s predecessor companies have a long history in Llanelli – but like so many others, what had been locally, often family owned firms have been sold to larger firms. These sales remove the local link, and remove the loyalty to workers and location that we so often see in successful medium sized firms.

“I’ve been pressing the Welsh Government to look at ways in which it can make sure that successful manufacturing firms remain in Welsh ownership as they grow, retaining a local link and ownership. I’m pleased that the Development Bank of Wales is looking at what they can do to support such an ambition – and the candidate I’m backing for next leader of Welsh Labour, Mark Drakeford is also on board.

“In the short term, Nia Griffith and I will work together to ensure that the UK and Welsh Government act in partnership to find a solution that works for the employees at Schaeffler and secures jobs for the long term. Where Nia is putting pressure on the UK Government to act, I’m working with the Welsh Government to ensure support is in place.

“In the worst case scenario, I’ll be working with the First Minister, and Economy Secretary Ken Skates AM to ensure that there is a comprehensive package of support available to anyone affected by job losses at the plant. But I hope the company engages sincerely in the consultation process and works with us to try and find a way to find a future for the plant.”

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  1. Avatar

    James Bradford

    November 9, 2018 at 12:34 pm

    Oh look. Camarthenshire voted to leave. 55,381 to 47,654. Voted to take away the freedoms of their own kids, and to take them from mine too, and to pay dearly for the privilege. Who pays to lose freedoms?!

    Well there’s the wake-up call. And this won’t be the last closure. I hope that “sovereignty” tastes good, whatever you think that word means, as you think about losing your job just before Christmas.

    My absolute sympathies to those employees who voted to remain, but those who voted to leave are getting exactly what they were warned about and what they voted for.

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How Wales created 19 new field hospitals in less than 8 weeks…

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Across Wales the Welsh Government is supporting the NHS to create new field hospitals and rapidly increase bed capacity.
Health boards have repurposed existing buildings, including the Principality Stadium, a holiday park and even a television studio to provide an additional 6,000 beds.Field hospitals are designed to support the NHS during the coronavirus pandemic by providing extra bed capacity but they will also help normal hospital services be restarted and support social care services.Last month, the first patients were admitted to Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig at the Principality Stadium, in Cardiff.

Four to six weeks

Here is how Wales almost doubled its bed capacity in less than eight weeks…The time it has taken to nearly double hospital bed capacity in Wales, creating field hospitals across the nation.

19 field hospitals in Wales
This includes the repurposing of Bluestone Holiday Park and Parc y Scarlets in west Wales and Venue Cymru in north Wales.

1,500 beds at the Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig
Making it one of the largest field hospitals in the UK.

Five days
The length of time it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig, which overlapped with the build phase.

3,000
The number of planning hours, involving more than 20 different disciplines, it took to plan Ysbyty Calon y Ddraig.

£166m
Welsh Government funding for the set up, construction and equipment for field hospitals in Wales.

138,000
The number of pieces of equipment have been provided to help support field hospitals, including beds, imaging equipment, syringe drivers and medicines.

Three North Wales field hospitals have the name Enfys
Meaning rainbow – the symbol of hope and thank you to the NHS during the pandemic.
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7-year-old Mattie from Pembrey takes on home Pen y Fan-tastic challenge for Action for Children

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Plucky Mattie Denman will climb the equivalent of Pen y Fan in the drive at her family home in Pembrey on Friday 22nd May to raise funds for Action for Children.

Mattie (7), has always wanted to climb the highest mountain in South Wales and is unable to currently because of the coronavirus pandemic.  As the family exercise at home every day, she decided she wanted to do the 6-mile equivalent journey there while she waits for the chance to do it for real.  Mattie chose Action for Children as her mother, Sian, works for the charity in Carmarthenshire.

Mattie said: ‘My Mammy works for Action for Children and I want to help as well because lots of families need help.  My older brother and sister help Action for Children, so I asked Mammy if I could do something. We exercise everyday walking up and down the drive and I have always wanted to climb Pen y Fan, but we have never done it.

‘Mammy said I could pretend I am walking it and people will give money to the charity. I said brilliant, that is what I am going to do and I am super excited to do it. I will use mammy’s step counter and I hope I can help children that need support especially because it is so hard for some families because of coronavirus.’

Proud mum and family support practitioner for Action for Children, Sian, added: ‘Mattie has a lovely heart and really wanted to do something and I’m very proud she chose Pen y Fan as her home challenge.  Action for Children has been going the extra mile during the coronavirus pandemic continuing to support vulnerable families through phone and video sessions as well as food and help with the basics from our Emergency Appeal Fund. 

‘It is a tremendously challenging time for our families and every bit of money will directly help those in our communities who need it most.  I hope as many people as possible will donate to Mattie’s brilliant fundraising effort, it’ll make it even more special when we finally get to climb Pen y Fan for real.’

If you want to support Mattie’s Pen y Fan challenge please go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/mattiesclimb

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Housebuilder launches Coronavirus move in package

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A South Wales housebuilder has launched new incentives which mean homes are ‘ready to move into’ during the Covid-19 crisis – without the need for tradespeople or delivery people.

People in Wales are allowed to move into new build houses during the lockdown – and many people have successfully done so.

However, the limitations of social distancing can add extra stress when it comes to having things like dishwashers, washing machines and turf installed in the new property.

That’s why Persimmon Homes West Wales has launched a new incentive package which gives purchasers the chance to buy a house with white goods and flooring already in place.

Sharon Bouhali, sales director at Persimmon Homes West Wales, said: “Our sales advisors have done a terrific job in talking with customers and guiding them through the buying process remotely, without the need of face-to-face meetings.

“It’s been a huge challenge, but we’ve risen to it – and Persimmon has sold more than 120 properties in South Wales during the lockdown period. We have customers moving into their new homes every week.

“But, understandably, some people are cautious about having too many tradespeople and contractors enter their home, even if they are doing their utmost to abide by social distancing rules.

“That’s why we have launched these new packages which mean people can turn the key, unpack and get on with enjoying their new home.”

The package includes carpets and vinyl throughout, turf in the back garden, sliding wardrobes, integrated fridge freezer, integrated washer/dryer, integrated dishwasher and £500 discount towards removal fees.

The deal is on offer at Glas Y Felin in Bridgend, Parc Yr Onnen in Carmarthen, The Bridles in Llanelli, Peterson Park in Pontyclun, Parc Brynderi in Llanelli and Allt Y Celyn in Rhos.

Persimmon’s marketing suites in Wales remain closed for the time being. Visit www.persimmonhomes.com or call 01792 229800 for details of homes available.

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