GKN Hostile Takeover
Last week it was announced that investment company Melrose are taking over GKN, one of our oldest and largest engineering companies and a major supplier of parts to the aerospace and automotive industries. On Thursday GKN shareholders accepted the bid.
This is yet another example of private companies making quick deals to benefit a rich few while leaving industries and communities jobless. It is estimated that several hundred GKN workers will lose their jobs to asset-stripper Melrose, and our automotive and aerospace industries could be dealt a heavy blow. This would in turn have a knock-on effect on other areas, such as our steel industry.
This takeover also poses a significant security risk, as GKN is currently involved in several defence programmes.
The Government has proved weak at standing up to this investment giant and it is clear that they do not have an industrial strategy. Last week Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark feebly bargained with Melrose for commitments over jobs and pensions and simply stated he was ‘mindful’ of the security issues. These commitments may not even be enforceable.
This is not good enough. A Labour government would not have allowed this short-term speculation to take precedence over our workforce, our communities and our national security. The Government must do more to protect our jobs. #GKN
Construction Output Drop
The largest trade association in the UK construction industry, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) has reported an output drop due to recent snowy weather, sharply rising wages due to skills shortages in construction, and the deprecation of the pound following the EU Referendum. This could worsen, should migration be restricted further post-Brexit, and it could affect other related industries such as our steel industry.
PMI data for March 2018 reports that output fell from 51.4 in February to 47.0 in March, against the neutral reading of 50.0. March 2018’s figure was weaker than the average 52.3 of 2017.
The construction sector makes up 7% of the economy. The Government must act to protect and preserve our industries when Britain leaves the European Union. #construction
A few weeks ago I announced that I had become the Secretary for the APPG on Endometriosis, and that I would like to hear from you if you wanted to share your experience with me.
I have been overwhelmed by the responses I have received. Thank you so much for taking the time to write to me, and apologies that I have not had time to get back to you all yet. Please continue to send in your stories to me, they are extremely important. Your input better informs me and may help to shape the direction of this group. #womenwithendometriosis
In the Constituency
Universities UK Freedom of Information Petition
One of my constituents has asked me to sign and share their petition to make Universities UK subject to the Freedom of Information Act. Click the link below to view and sign it. https://petition.parliament.uk/petitions/214119
Crowdfund for Tom
A crowdfunder has been set up by a group of Sheffield Wednesday fans to honour the late Tom Wharton, a supporter who only missed one game between 1880 and 1926. His unmarked grave has been found in Wardsend Cemetary, and Owls fans are raising funds for a headstone with a club badge and epitaph. If you would like more information or would like to make a donation please click the link below. https://www.swfc.co.uk/news/2018/march/crowdfund-for-tom/
Website Update – Ministerial Responses
I am really pleased to announce that I have now started to publish Ministerial letters which I receive regularly in response to enquiries I make on behalf of numerous constituents. If you would like to view them go to https://gillfurniss.com/blog/.
As always, let me know if there is anything that is unclear, or anything that isn’t on there that you think should be included.