Business Secretary Responds to Jaguar Land Rover Cuts

Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has said that the decision of Jaguar Land Rover to cut 4,500 jobs “will clearly be a worrying time for Jaguar Land Rover employees and their families”. The company has recently confirmed that sales in China have fallen and that Brexit has created a climate of uncertainty.

In a statement, Clark said:

“Jaguar Land Rover have today confirmed plans to offer voluntary redundancy packages to their UK workforce as they reduce their global headcount. This is a commercial decision for the company but nevertheless it will clearly be a worrying time for Jaguar Land Rover employees and their families.

Jaguar Land Rover is a much valued British company with a talented and dedicated workforce. The Government has, and will continue, to work closely with the business to ensure that it can succeed long into the future as it invests and transitions to autonomous, connected and electric vehicles. On Monday, Andy Street, Mayor of the West Midlands Combined Authority, and I will convene a Jaguar Land Rover Development Partnership meeting bringing together Jaguar Land Rover leadership, local MPs and representatives from the Midlands and the North West, supply chain, trade body and trades union representatives.

Jaguar Land Rover and its owners have made clear they remain firmly committed to the UK, continuing to invest billions and employing tens of thousands of people. This includes today’s announcement of investment in next generation electric drive units to be produced in Wolverhampton and a new battery assembly centre in Hams Hall. Building on last year’s investment in their key plants in Solihull and Halewood to build the next-generation of Land Rover models, including electric vehicles.

The UK is a world-leader in automotive manufacturing. Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we are building on those world beating strengths and investing in the future to put the UK at the forefront of the next generation of electric and autonomous vehicles.”

Jack Dromey, the Labour MP for Birmingham Erdington, said:

“Areas like mine, of high poverty and unemployment… It’s nothing short of tragic that tonight there will be workers at home wondering what their future holds.”

Government Announces Support Package to Businesses Affected by Carillion’s Liquidation

Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, has announced that there will be £100 million of lending made available to smaller businesses adversely affected by the liquidation of Carillion. The money is being funded by the British Business Bank, which is wholly owned by the Government, in conjunction with high street lenders.

Clark said in a statement:

“We want to signal very clearly to small and medium sized businesses who were owed money by Carillion that they will be supported to continue trading. The banks have responded to my request by agreeing to support businesses and individuals affected. This further guarantee will help those businesses who may not be able to provide the usual security for a loan. I will continue to work closely with business organisations, trade unions and banks to actively support those affected by Carillion’s insolvency”.

Prime Minister to Meet with Business Leaders

Theresa May, the Prime Minister, is to meet with business leaders on Monday 13 November. The meeting will also be attended by Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, David Davis, the Secretary of State for Exiting the EU and Stephen Barclay, the Economic Secretary to the Treasury.

A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said in a statement:

“The Prime Minister will also reiterate her vision set out in Florence for a bold and deep economic partnership with the EU – one in which the UK continues to be a global, free trading nation and the strongest friend and partner to the EU.

Alongside colleagues from the Department for Exiting the EU, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Treasury, the Prime Minister will reflect on the historic strong relationship between European business and the UK – from BMW in Oxford building electric MINIs to Arla’s work with dairy farmers across Britain.

The government has been engaging with industry through the Business Advisory Council since July this year as a vital part of preparations for leaving the EU. But this is the first meeting where she will engage directly with leaders from EU Business Organisations.

Greg Clark, Secretary of State for BEIS, will also set out the aims for the upcoming Industrial Strategy which will play a key role in UK’s free market economy delivering economic and social progress for everyone in society”.

 

Government Says Tower Hamlets Council has Made Progress

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Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has said that progress has been made at Tower Hamlets council. The council had been placed in the hands of commissioners in December 2014 following serious allegations of mismanagement.

Clark said in a statement:

“In Tower Hamlets independent inspectors found a worrying pattern of divisive community politics and serious mismanagement of taxpayers’ money.

Intervention is never a decision taken lightly but it was essential that we took action to make sure public confidence in the council is restored.

Under the careful watch of the commissioners the Mayor is making progress but there must be sufficient evidence of real organisational change before I will consider handing any powers back”.

Government announces local government deal for next four years

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Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has announced a new settlement with local councils which give them greater financial freedom.

The changes will allow local councils to set their budgets four years ahead with extra money being made available for social care in the community.

In a statement to the House of Commons Clark said:

“These are important times for local government. The devolution of power and resources from Whitehall is gathering momentum.

Today’s settlement means every council will have, for the financial year ahead, at least the resources allocated by the provisional settlement. In addition, we will provide transitional funding for the first 2 years of the Spending Review period for councils as they move from dependence on central government grants to greater financial autonomy.

The government will continue to keep bills down with Council Tax still expected to be lower in real terms in 2019 to 2020 than it was in 2009 to 2010″.

Jon Trickett, Labour’s Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, rejected the claims and said:

“It reminds me of nothing more than someone speeding along the road into a disaster who then says ‘I will take my foot off the accelerator’ without changing the destination. Because local government is facing a disaster”.

Government Announces an Additional £50 million to Help Flood Victims

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Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has announced today an additional £50 million in funding to help councils deal with flood victims.

The money can be used by local authorities to help support local householders and businesses deal with some of the worst flooding seen over recent years. Clark said in a statement:

“No-one could fail to be moved by the scenes of devastation left in the wake of storm Eva – we’re determined to ensure all those affected get the support they need quickly.

That’s why today we’re extending government support to those communities by £50 million, matching the funding already announced for areas affected by storm Desmond.

As part of this, councils facing clean-up costs can be confident they will get the support they need through the extension of the Bellwin Scheme”.