Wrexham factory campaigner set for battle again

Reporter:

Phil Robinson

THE community leader who helped spearhead the campaign which saved Wrexham’s Remploy factory from the axe three years ago says he is ready to go into battle again to fight the latest threat to its future.

In 2007 Stansty councillor David Bithell was among the politicians who rallied round the Railway Road furniture plant, which employs about 50 people with disabilities, when it was threatened with closure by the last Labour government.

It was given an official reprieve in November of that year following a massive show of public support, which included the gathering a 15,000-name petition.

However, late last week, in announcing its controversial plans for the possible axing of scores of Quangos – Quasi-Autonomous Non-Governmental Organisations – the government made the surprise inclusion of Remploy.

Its future was described as being “under consideration”.

The organisation runs a network of factories across the UK employing thousands of disabled adults.

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, who was also part of the 2007 campaign, said he was “deeply concerned” by the announcement and has laid down a series of questions in Parliament demanding an urgent clarification of Remploy’s position.

Cllr Bithell, in whose ward the factory is included, said: “I am disappointed that this has come up and I am monitoring the situation constantly with Ian Lucas and the factory manager, David Chippendale.

“A lot disabled people need the jobs at Remploy and we must support them.

“I thought that after the last campaign the factory had a good future.

“Then, the campaign involved many people from local business as well as politicians and we had a petition with 15,000 names in support.

“I am now prepared to do what ever is necessary to save the factory again.”

The Railway Road factory produces a range of furniture for offices, bedrooms and
colleges.

See full story in the Leader

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