Disastrous UK Policy Sees Local Unemployment Figures Rise

Neath MP Peter Hain has condemned the UK Government policy as ‘disastrous’ after the latest figures released today show unemployment in Neath has risen to 1,628 in October up from 1589 in September.

Commenting on the figures Mr Hain said, “On a day when Europe is uniting in strike action against the austerity measures the latest increase in unemployment figures for Neath is devastating, especially for those struggling to find a job. Life for local people is getting harder and harder as a direct result of David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s disastrous policy of cutting too far and too fast. Jobs are very hard to find, unemployment is stuck at a high level and lots of very vulnerable people are losing income through cuts in disability allowances.”

Mr Hain also expressed his concern over the continuing increase in long term unemployment with the number of people in Neath jobless for over twelve months increasing every month since June and the figures have not decreased since August 2011.

“This is a worrying trend. As history has shown us those who become unemployed and fail to find work in the first six to twelve months become stuck in the unemployment cycle. We need real investment in long term employment.”


‘Productive’ meeting over future of Neath Valley Mines

Neath MP Peter Hain has described a meeting between Vince Cable and representatives from Aberpergwm and Unity Mine as ‘productive.’ Mr Hain called for the urgent meeting after Walter Energy, Aberpergwm announced it was entering a ninety day consultation and activity at the mine would be suspended, affecting 270 employees.

Mr Hain along with representatives from Aberpergwm and Unity mines spoke with the Secretary of State for Business to secure the future of the two mines that have been affected by the lack of confidence in the British economy and the current slump in the price of coal.

Speaking after the meeting Mr Hain said, “The meeting with the Business Secretary on the future of two of the biggest employers in the area was constructive. Whilst no immediate Government help was promised the Business Secretary made a number of suggestions on options to explore in the future.

“Both Aberpergwm and Unity are vital employers in the area producing the highest quality anthracite in the world and providing well paid skilled jobs. The lack of confidence in the British economy and slump in the price of coal will not only affect the nearly 500 people currently employed by the two mines but many hundreds of extra job opportunities including the apprenticeships that both mines offer. This would have devastating knock on effects on the local community which is why the meeting with the Business Secretary was so crucial. The UK Government must deliver better policies.

“The two mines have promising futures with vast reserves of the highest quality anthracite in the world but they need help over this rocky period until the investment climate and the British economy improves. I’ll continue to work with them to secure the future of the two operations.”

Both mines have grown over the last few years with a renaissance in coal, supplying Tata Steel and Aberthaw power station.

Statement on Walter Energy Announcement From Peter Hain MP:

Following the announcement that Walter Energy is starting a consultation regarding proposals to suspend activities at its Aberpergwm Colliery which will affect approximately 270 employees Neath MP Peter Hain said,

“This is desperately disappointing. I have given the mine every support I can but it appears to be a victim of international factors including the global recession which is severely affecting the price of coal and the damaging policies by the Westminster government which are hitting businesses hard.

“To risk losing these highly skilled and well paid jobs would be a real body blow to our local communities. I hope that commercial conditions will improve so that the mine can start working again as it’s been so successful for the last ten years. I will continue to work with Rhidian Davies and his team to secure the future.”

Hain Slams Government As Latest Unemployment Figures “Show No End To Misery In Sight”

Neath MP Peter Hain has condemned the Westminster Governments’ economic policy as ‘failing local people’ as latest unemployment figures show an increase. Despite UK unemployment figures falling unemployment in the Neath constituency has risen for the second month to 1589.

Commenting on the figures Mr Hain said, ‘There is no end to the misery in sight.  Unemployment figures are moving in the wrong direction and demonstrating the economic plan of this Tory led Government, supported by the Lib Dems, is failing drastically. With nearly eighty percent of the cuts still to come the situation is going to get much much worse.

‘Behind all the statistics there are real stories of families struggling to make ends meet or of a youngster desperately trying to get into the world of work and being told they don’t have the experience. Sadly a situation faced by too many of our youngsters who are left demoralised and frustrated as they suffer for the mistakes of the bankers and the inept policy of this Tory-Lib Dem government to invest in jobs and growth and get people back into work.”

Hain Urges Royal Mail To Invest In State Of The Art Delivery Office In Neath

Neath MP Peter Hain has renewed his appeal to the Royal Mail, in a letter to Chief executive Moya Greene, to invest in a state of the art delivery office facility in the heart of Neath following postal bosses’ announcement early in the year that they were considering switching the work of the current delivery office in Windsor Road, Neath Town Centre to Llansamlet, Swansea, with the loss of 70 jobs.

His call comes after Mr Hain had initiated months of negotiations between Royal Mail, Neath Port Talbot County Council and the Welsh Government. This week he was told by the Welsh Government the Royal Mail was not eligible for such grant assistance to build a new office. Describing the development as ‘intensely disappointing’, he vowed to continue to fight for the delivery office to remain in Neath.

Mr Hain commented, ‘This is an extremely disappointing outcome but the opportunity is still not lost which is why I am renewing my appeal to the Royal Mail to invest in the site and secure the future of the Neath delivery office. In doing so they will be secure the quality jobs of more than 70 staff that already work out of the Windsor Road office and the vital local knowledge they bring to the job.

‘A delivery office should be located within the community it serves so that postmen and post women know their local areas and people very well. Whilst everyone agrees that the current old office is no longer fit for purpose there genuinely is a fantastic opportunity to have a purpose built facility with excellent transport links in the town. This opportunity must not be lost. Losing good jobs like this would be a body blow to Neath town.”

‘Neath Port Talbot leaders and officials have worked hard to identify a suitable site and have indicated they will help in whatever way they can to keep the jobs in Neath. But now the Welsh Government has stated the project does not fit the rules for grant assistance, responsibility passes to the Royal Mail to fulfil its historic role in Neath. I am pressing it very hard to do so.’

In July Mr Hain met with Royal Mail representatives and those from Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council to identify a suitable site in Neath town.