Liberal Democrats in our area are acting to protest against the decision of Jaguar Land Rover to close one of their two factories in the region.
The company, owned by Indian firm Tata, said that as part of cost-cutting plans it would close a plant at either Solihull or Castle Bromwich. Production would be combined at one of the West Midlands sites, to be decided next year.
The assembly plant at Castle Bromwich where there are about 2,000 workers, is in the Tyburn Ward represented by Liberal Democrat Cllr Ann Holtom. Cllr Holtom said: "The decision to close one these local factories is the worst news imaginable for local people at a time of recession. The company have said there will be no compulsory redundancies but even if they can make this work it will mean employees moving to the other factory or perhaps even to Merseyside."
Cllr Holtom added: "The impact on the local economy if Castle Bromwich ceases production could be enormous. More unemployment means less income and more pressure for already hard-pressed families. And we do not know what the consequences will be for other firms in the area in the Castle Bromwich supply chain. If the plant closes it will inevitably mean that local shops and services will suffer a slowdown in trade and may be at risk of going out of business."
Cllr Holtom said that local politicians now need to work hard to try to persuade the company to reverse its decision if at all possible, or at the very least to lower its impact on the local community. She is also calling on Business Secretary Peter Mandelson to intervene to help save jobs in the region. Lord Mandelson recently welcomed "the commitment that Tata is showing in the highly-skilled workforce employed by Jaguar Land Rover in the West Midlands." Cllr Holtom is calling on Lord Mandelson to show his own commitment to the local workforce that he recently praised so highly.