Council leader demands three key assurances from government

The leader of Portsmouth City Council Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson.  PICTURE:STEVE REID(080632-04)

The leader of Portsmouth City Council Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson. PICTURE:STEVE REID(080632-04)

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The leader of Portsmouth City Council has demanded three key assurances from the government in the wake of BAE Systems’ decision to close shipbuilding in the city.

Councillor Gerald Vernon-Jackson has today written to the government seeking commitments to warship maintenance contracts which could help mitigate the loss of workers from the shipbuilding industry.

The move is the latest in a string of efforts being co-ordinated around the city to carve a new path for its maritime industry.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said: ‘At the moment there are more jobs in the dockyard doing maintenance than there are building, and if we can get these assurances that will provide some mitigation.

‘My understanding is that BAE has been trying to have a flexible workforce so people can move easily between shipbuilding and maintenance.

‘I think that would mean jobs protection for hundreds of people if we could guarantee this maintenance work.’

The three assurances asked for in the letter are:

· Guarantee the lifetime maintenance work on Portsmouth’s two new aircraft carriers will be done in the city;

· Guarantee the lifetime maintenance work on the six Type 45 destroyers will be done in the city;

· Bring all of the planned Type 26 frigates to Portsmouth, along with the lifetime maintenance contracts for the ships.

Click here: Action stations as Portsmouth reels from the devastating blow of shipyard closure

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