ISHERWOOD: “NO FINAL DECISIONS MADE OVER REMPLOY” PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 10 May 2012 12:28

 


The future of Remploy factories was discussed in the Assembly Chamber this week when North Wales AM, Mark Isherwood, asked the Minister for Education and Skills to respond to a letter from the UK Minister for Disabled People, Maria Miller MP,  issued to all AMs and MPs, stating that no final decisions regarding redundancies and closures have been made.

 

Mr Isherwood also referred to support for Remploy employees considering ownership of their factories as social enterprises, as recommended by the independent  Sayce Review into employment services for disabled people commissioned by the UK Government, a matter he first raised in the Chamber last November and with the First Minister last December.

 

Speaking in the Chamber this week Mr Isherwood said: “Social ownership of these factories by employees was mentioned in the Sayce review, and I questioned you about that last November. However, I have also met Maria Miller and put my case forward for Wrexham, pointing out the contracts the factory has with Wrexham council, and she told me that these are matters that need to be considered within the consultation, alongside the other proposals and the fact that the budget for supporting disabled people into employment is being increased not reduced. However, how do you respond to her letter to all Assembly Members and Members of Parliament last week, which stated, quite clearly, that all decisions about proposed factory closures and redundancies are subject to ongoing collective consultation and that no final decisions have been made?”

The Minister replied: “Clearly, appropriate consultations are currently going on between Remploy and the relevant trade unions about the future, but the UK Government has made it very clear that it is withdrawing the subsidy from the seven factories in Wales, and Remploy, as a result of the loss of that subsidy, subsequently decided to close them. We would have liked the subsidy that currently underpins those factories to have been transferred to the Welsh Government and I think that we could have then created a solid and sustainable future for those factories.”

Mr Isherwood said: “In March, and after discussion with me, Welsh Conservative Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly, Andrew RT Davies AM, wrote to Maria Miller, asking her to give consideration to devolving the budget for Remploy factories in Wales to the Welsh Government”.

 

Mr Isherwood added that the £320 million budget for specialist disability employment services has been protected.

 

He said: “ There are no cuts. The issue is not cuts, but extra support for disabled people into work. 

“When the UK Labour Government closed Remploy factories in 2008, they failed to adequately support the 2,500 people who lost their jobs. The current proposals affect 1,752 people, all of whom are guaranteed tailored support.” 

 

 

Promoted by Mark Isherwood AM at National Assembly for Wales, Cardiff Bay, Cardiff, CF99 1NA

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