The news that Portsmouth is unlikely to get the contract for all future maintenance work on the navy’s warships is a major blow.
Coming so soon after we reported how Prime Minister David Cameron is said to be ‘actively pursuing’ points made to him in an open letter carried on the front of The News on November 14, it is dispriting.
But this latest knockback came in the answer to a parliamentary question asked by Portsmouth South MP Mike Hancock. It seems the majority of the work is to go to Devonport Royal Dockyard in Plymouth.
Philip Dunne, the minster for defence equipment, has promised Portsmouth the contract for three of the Type 45 destroyers.
However, this is simply not enough to sustain the workforce here in the city.
In another answer, it was revealed that the preferred location for constructing the new Offshore Patrol Vessels will also be on the Clyde. This was one of the points raised in the open letter.
And there is still no word on whether we will get to complete the work on the new aircraft carriers – another point raised in the open letter.
It seems everywhere else is getting something from BAE Systems’ plans for the future – but what are we getting here in Portsmouth?
The answer at the moment is sadly, not very much.
It is clear that there are things going on that have not been in the public realm, and it is a shame that these pointed questions need to be asked in a bid to get answers.
It is now more than two weeks since the city’s leaders showed a united front in signing the open letter to Mr Cameron, and we have yet to hear a response.
The clock is ticking increasingly loudly for those 940 workers whose jobs are on the line.
Come on Mr Cameron, it is time the people of Portsmouth were given some kind of response.
There are too many people’s livelihoods’, and a major element of the city’s economy, hanging in the balance in the moment.