Speaking from Westminster today, Lord Paddy Ashdown said today:
"These job losses are the inevitable consequence of the short-sighted decision to purchase Apache helicopters made in the US rather than the UK.”
Commenting on the news that 230 employees were sent home from GKN in Yeovil this morning and the future of a major local employer thrown into doubt, Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate, Daisy Benson, said:
‘This is deeply worrying and my thoughts are with the workers and families affected.
‘If Theresa May is serious about what she says about protecting British jobs then her government must act now to save vital jobs and businesses in Yeovil.
‘I’ve raised the matter urgently with local and national decision-makers and I am seeking the following action in support:
- An urgent question to be tabled by Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons
- Asked Lord Ashdown to raise the matter urgently with the Minister of State
- Asked the District Council to urgently investigate what support can be given to workers affected, following support given to Westland in previous years
- Requested an urgent meeting with management and unions at GKN
- Call upon the public to sign our petition supporting the helicopter manufacturing industry in Yeovil and South Somerset
Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon, former MP for Yeovil, reacts to GKN statement on the plans to scale down or close their activity in Yeovil. Saying:
“This is very worrying news indeed for Yeovil and South Somerset.”
“I am waiting to discuss these events with the management in the Yeovil factory. Meanwhile, I will be working with my colleague, the Lib Dem Prospective Parliamentary Candidate Daisy Benson to see what action can be taken in Parliament and locally to address the situation.”
“It is at present too early to say whether Brexit has had any part to play in these job losses which seem primarily to be the consequence of the Government’s foolish to decision to buy helicopters made abroad rather than at Yeovil.”
“Our community is paying a heavy price for a local MP who has neither the standing or the energy to gain influence nor voice over the decisions made by a short-sighted Government.”
“Meanwhile this is a challenge for Theresa May as well. She declared that her government would have industrial strategy. Now she must come clean – does that include Britain having helicopter industry or not. If so then the government must take action to address the damage that has been done by their shortsightedness, If not then we will know where to look. When further damage is done to Britain’s helicopter industry and the Yeovil and south Somerset community.”
“The County Councils finances are in a dire situation.”
The Conservative Cabinet running Somerset County Council have been discussing the possibility of declaring the Authority bankrupt. In the Revenue Outturn report the County Finance Director has informed the Cabinet that he may have to invoke Section 114 – which will mean that they have to bring in immediate savings to rectify the dire financial situation. The Government would also be advised that the County Council may not be able to pay all its bills!
Members of Yeovil constituency Liberal Democrats met on Sunday in Stoke sub Hamdon to choose their parliamentary spokesperson for the area.
Daisy Benson, 37 who lives in Misterton and works for a utility company as a stakeholder engagement manager, was selected.
By Rob Stickland | Yeovil East District Councillor
You may just have heard about the EU referendum and the result thereof. As a Party, on the whole, we supported the Remain camp, though there were some of a different opinion. It probably didn’t even escape the notice of Tim Peake and he’s been out of the world for six months.
Tim Farron visited a farm in Somerset to highlight the importance of the EU to British farming.
British farmers receive £2.5-£3bn a year in subsidies from the EU and export £11.4bn in produce to our European neighbours.
Paul Crossley, an experienced community leader from Bath, has been announced as the Liberal Democrat Candidate for Avon & Somerset Police & Crime Commissioner.
Lib Dems fight to bring criminals to justice, by keeping the European Arrest Warrant.
Somerset County Council’s Children’s Services have been rated as “inadequate” by Ofsted since June 2013. Nearly three years on and the Conservative administration has been unable to improve the quality of service. Failure to deliver quality services is putting the children of Somerset at risk. Essex County Council have been called in to try and help the County Council turn things around.