Saturday 20 July 2019

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20 June 2011

East Midlands Councils concerned about loss of Thameslink contract

Potential for major manufacturing job losses

East Midlands Councils (EMC) is supporting the campaign to prevent a £1.4 billion contract for Thameslink trains from being placed overseas.

Councillor David Parsons, CBE, Chair of EMC said: “East Midlands Council leaders discussed this at today’s Board Meeting and were shocked and surprised by this decision. We will be writing to the Prime Minster, the Secretary of State for Transport, Philip Hammond and the Secretary of State for Business, Vince Cable with some very specific questions that the people of Derby and of the wider East Midlands deserve answers to.

“In a time when the economy is starting to show signs of growth, we fail to understand why the only train manufacturer in Great Britain has been dropped from this very important contract. If these skills are lost they will never return. With the increase in rail passenger numbers, proposed  High Speed rail links, trams and improvement of underground rolling stock in the offing it seems ludicrous that we are throwing away these skills.

“The private sector is being encouraged to provide the growth the economy needs, but the loss of this contract will impact not just on Bombardier but also on their extensive supply chain, putting under threat many local jobs.  

“Bombardier is a high value manufacturer with an impeccable pedigree. We just can not, and will not, let this go without a fight,  I call on the Government to respond to the Leader of Derby City Council, Philip Hickson’s request for an urgent meeting with the Prime Minister to understand how this happened, whether the decision is final and precisely what the Government is intending to do to support the people of Derby and the wider East Midlands.

“I am also concerned about the interpretation of European procurement rules - how do other countries succeed under the same rules to award contracts to home based companies, such as France where 100% of their rolling stock is built in France?

“I call for vigorous action in Westminster to ensure an early and effective response to these issues.”

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East Midlands Councils

As a representative and consultative forum, East Midlands Councils is the voice for all Local Authorities in the East Midlands

It represents 46 councils, covering an area of over 6000 square miles with a population of 4.4 million people.

MEDIA INFORMATION FROM 

Jon Whowell, Communications. East Midlands Councils

Tel 01664 502 620, Mobile 07780 923439.  E-mail: jon.whowell@emcouncils.gov.uk

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