Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Economic Meltdown 2

Met senior managers at Stadco Powys this morning to discuss their plans. I was there to support local councillor, Peter Lewis, and to represent Nick Bourne, who represents the area as a regional AM. I have a very personal, historical attachment to Stadco as well.

Stadco Powys have been forced into a review of their business - which is making car parts. The company has been faced with no option but to review, and the Llanfyllin plant is taking a lot of the pain, as work currently based there is to be transferred to Shrewsbury. A 90 day consultation process will begin on 12th January on Stadco's proposal to make 106 0f the 153 strong workforce redundant. This is a disaster for Llanfyllin.

The National Assembly were also present at this morning's meeting, and I'm pleased that there is a will to look carefully at what help can be given. Though there is an air of certainty about the announcement, we have to retain some hope. But my greatest fear is not currently proposed. The company appear committed to retaining the much-reduced presence in Llanfyllin. While the Stadco presence remains, there must be belief that economic recovery will allow the base to expand again in the future.

One final hopeful factor in today's discussions was the possibility of relocating some of the workforce, along with the work to Shrewsbury. Too early for any final conclusions. Today's group plan to hold another meeting in a few weeks time to review progress.

When ITV Wales interviewed me about this, Kevin asked me how I felt about it. I suspect they knew my historical involvement. Well I feel sad about it. Through the 80s and early 90s, I lived and breathed promoting economic development in Mid Wales, and there was a family of businesses which were the foundation of our economic strategy - and Stadco was one of them. At least its going to stay alive, even against the backdrop of today's devastating news.

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