Council urged to support under threat workforce

Remploy, Ashington.
Remploy, Ashington.
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CAMPAIGNERS trying to save the jobs of a group of disabled people in Ashington are appealing to all parties on the county council for support.

The town’s Remploy factory, pictured, which employs 27 people, is proposed for closure as the government privatises the national organisation’s employment services.

Public consultation ends on October 17 and Northumberland’s Labour group is putting a motion to the council on September 7 urging members to ask the government to think again about Remploy.

It states the council will try to “assess the social and economic impact on some of our society’s most vulnerable people.

“Further, we call upon the council to assess the consultation documentation and to respond in a way that shows our support for the continuation of the Remploy factory in our county and the important role it plays as an employer and provider of training for disabled people.”

Labour group leader Coun Grant Davey said: “Remploy employees are facing the prospect of losing their jobs and with little opportunity or apparent prospect of further work.

“Council and Alcan apart, the Remploy factory at Ashington is one of the largest employers in Northumberland.”

Remploy was established after the Second World War initially to provide work for disabled veterans. Currently it employs 2,500 people nationally.

Last month, a review conducted by Liz Sayce, chief executive of disability charity Radar, is reported to have concluded that disabled people should instead be helped to work in the general labour market.