Constructive Dialogue The Way Forward For Wrexham Remploy
Constructive dialogue between the UK and Welsh governments is the best way forward for the future of Welsh Remploy factories according to Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths.
Last week during Prime Minister’s questions David Cameron did not rule out devolving responsibility for Remploy funding to Wales.
First Minister Carwyn Jones has welcomed the comments and written to the Prime Minister asking for dialogue over funding arrangements for the Welsh Remploy sites over the next three years.
Welsh Education and Skills Minister Leighton Andrews this week chaired a meeting with key stakeholders including unions, the Welsh Local Government Authority, housing groups and others to discuss all options for the Welsh Remploy sites.
Following the Sayce Review, the UK Minister for Disabled People Maria Miller accepted proposals for the closure of seven out of nine Remploy factories in Wales.
Despite lucrative contracts with Wrexham Council in the pipeline, the Wrexham Remploy Site was amongst those earmarked for closure with 52 jobs under threat.
Hundreds of people turned out in support of a rally against the planned closure of the Wrexham Remploy factory and a petition has also been created in opposition to the proposals.
Lesley Griffiths said: “The decision to close Wrexham Remploy, along with another six sites in Wales, was a hammer blow to the people who work there and those who have campaigned previously to keep the sites open.
“Remploy offers a route to skills and sustainable employment for some of the most vulnerable in society, and has a vital role in keeping disabled people from benefit dependency.
“The UK Government has said itself this is not about money, they won’t save one penny by closing the factories. With this in mind, it seems feasible that the funding for Welsh Remploy Sites could be handed over to the Welsh Government for the remainder of this government term. With this, Welsh Labour would seek to secure as many jobs as possible.
“I welcome the fact the Prime Minister has not ruled this option out. What needs to happen going forward is for talks on the issue to be conducted in a constructive manner focussed on the best outcome for the Remploy employees.
“The Welsh Government has shown itself willing to work with all parties and explore all options to defend Remploy jobs. The fight will continue to save these jobs and for a constructive outcome.”
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