Plaxton redundancies: Scarborough Council calls on the government to help safeguard jobs

Scarborough councillors have called on the government to encourage more bus building in a way to safeguard jobs at local manufacturer Plaxton.

Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 12:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th July 2020, 12:54 pm

On Monday, Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) announced that up to 650 jobs across the UK are at risk due to a lack of orders during the pandemic.

The company employs 750 people at the Plaxton factory based in Eastfield.

There has so far been no indication of where the jobs losses could come from.

The Plaxton factory at Eastfield.

As well as its Scarborough plant, ADL has a production site in Falkirk where it employs 850 people and in Guildford, Surrey, where there are 350 workers.

Unite the union and Scarborough and Whitby MP Robert Goodwill have called on the government to push through a £3 billion scheme to build 4,000 new green buses as a way to safeguard jobs.

Scarborough Council leader Labour’s Cllr Steve Siddons said any job losses could be “devastating” to the borough’s economy.

He said: “Hearing the news about potential job losses at Plaxton is very worrying for the workforce and the town as a whole.

“Scarborough desperately needs more skilled well-paid jobs, not less, and I call on the government to assist this business to get through this difficult time.

“New high-quality public transport and particularly low carbon vehicles will be essential to deliver a cleaner greener future and Plaxton are well placed to assist that.

“Losing any skilled jobs in the borough at this stage could be devastating to our economic recovery.”

The opposition Conservative Group on Scarborough Council has also released a statement urging Prime Minister Boris Johnson to act.

A spokesman for the group said: “News of the potential job losses at Plaxton will have a very significant impact on Scarborough’s economy which has already been hit hard by the pandemic.

“We welcome the cross-party initiative taken by Robert Goodwill as the town’s MP to urge the Prime Minister to encourage the building of buses and coaches for the future.

“It will be good for the economy at all levels, for the environment and the growing awareness of having a green economy.

“The survival of Plaxton is crucial to helping to achieve those aspirations and to safeguard the jobs of the highly skilled and respected workforce at this nationally renowned coachbuilding company which has played such a major role in the life of Scarborough for so many years.

“We urge the Government to support the argument put to the Prime Minister by Robert Goodwill for the coach and bus building industry to be given the same level of support which has been given to many other industries as a result of the pandemic.”

A spokesman for ADL said no decision had been taken on where any job cuts could come from.

He said: “The balance of our UK workforce of 2,300 works at one of our smaller aftermarket sites, or remotely.

“The jobs at risk are across all functions at all of our UK facilities.

“Unfortunately we are unable to give any additional details ahead of the formal consultation, which is expected to begin in the coming weeks.”

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