Agenda item



The Chair advised that Councillor Cundy had submitted an urgent question under the provisions of Council Procedure Rule 11.4(b) which the Chair had allowed:-


“The proposed closure of Schaefflers with the loss of 220 good jobs is a body blow for Bynea, Llanelli and Carmarthenshire. What is the County Council prepared to do to try and reverse this decision of the company to leave and in the event of being unable to affect that decision, what will they do to support the current employees and their families through this difficult time and in the future?”


Response by Councillor Emlyn Dole, Leader of the Council:-


“I fully understand your concern as the Local Member for Dafen.  The closure of the plant could mean the loss of over 200 jobs and news of the closure came as a shock to us all.  Officers of the Council contacted senior representatives of the company as soon as the news was released on Monday of last week to see what could be done to save these high quality jobs and that is ongoing. I have also written to Mr Greig Littlefair, the Managing Director of Shaeffler UK, asking for an urgent meeting to discuss the future of the Llanelli plant.  Shaeffler is a multi-national company which supplies automotive and industrial parts all over the world and moved to Llanelli in 1957.  The company has indicated that the Llanelli plant and the one in Plymouth will close within the next two years, with production being relocate to other plants in the US, China, South Korea and Germany.  There was also some suggestion also that their decision was partly due to that uncertainty surrounding Brexit.  I should also add that I have issued a press release to share our concern about that threat to the 200 jobs following that announcement by Shaeffler in Llanelli to say that we will be working with the Welsh Government and talking to the company in an effort to do all we can to persuade them that Llanelli remains a great place for them to do business with the engineering base that we have and all that that offers.  However, we must do more and I do ask the Welsh Government to work with us to quickly approve and release the £40m City Deal funding for Delta |Lakes, the innovative and unique development we’ve spoken about is gaining international recognition, attracting many large companies to look to invest in the area.  We have to capitalise on that interest as quickly as we can to start to provide the 1,800 first class jobs that the Life Science Village with its associated university, health research, teaching, leisure and car facilities will provide.  We are also still waiting for the release of the £5m funding for Yr Egin in Carmarthen which is actually built and open.  We need to get these funds released to enable further job creation during this challenging period and we need to provide confidence to the business community at this time to show that our funds are ready to enable them to invest also.”


I’ll make sure that you are kept fully informed of developments.