On the last day of production of blades at the Vestas Factory in Newport, Island MP, Andrew Turner tells us that Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change (Ed Milliband MP) yesterday told the House of Commons that Vestas had made it clear that government grants would not have made any difference to their decision to continue manufacturing on the Island.
Many people will have heard the comments on the news from Simon Hughes, Liberal Democrat Spokesman on Climate Change criticising the Government for not stepping in to help save the jobs at Vestas.
Vestas’ reason for closing the plant here and moving to the US is due to there being a larger market across the pond.
Mr Turner said:
“I have had a number of meetings with Government Ministers about the work they had undertaken with Vestas prior to the announcement that they planned to close the factory on the Island. It was very clear to me that they had explored every avenue in order to work with the company to keep the factory open.
“I attended a public meeting on Friday 3rd July in the Riverside Centre organised by Cowes Trades Council and Workers Climate Action and a number of people there expressed the view that simply pumping yet more public money into the factory would keep it open.
“I had planned to raise this issue in depth during a debate next Tuesday so that it would become clear to my constituents that this option had been properly explored at the highest levels.
“I understand how important this is to the Island but to be fair to the Government I do think they have worked hard to try to keep the Vestas factory here on the Island. It is easy to simply knock the Government as the Liberal Democrat spokesman has done (although to be fair he couldn’t have known what has gone on behind the scenes) but when a hugely profitable multi-national company simply decides that it wants to close down a factory regardless of the consequences on it’s workforce or the local economy it seems that there is little that can be done. That is one of the reasons why it is important that public money is invested in businesses that are firmly rooted in local economies.”