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Monday, February 17, 2014

Redundancy story comments disputed

A community group is disputing comments reportedly made to media outlets by a local county councillor in stories about redundancies planned at Llangollen printworks Dobson & Crowther.

The company is due to move to a new factory to be built on nearby farmland at Cilmedw allowing Sainsbury’s to develop a new superstore on its current riverside site.

A turf-cutting ceremony due to be held at Cilmedw on Friday was cancelled. This was due to bad weather, according to developers J-Ross.

Separate stories appeared last Friday on the BBC website and in the Daily Post about redundancies at the factory.
In the Daily Post story there was confirmation of a redundancy situation by Dobson & Crowther managing director Paul Holden.

In both stories Llangollen county councillor Stuart Davies is reported to have blamed “the process caused by opposition to the development” for slowing the opening of the new factory.
But the comments have prompted criticism from community group Keep Llangollen Special (KLS) which opposed the superstore plan.

A statement from Martin Crumpton, chair of KLS, says: “Cllr Stuart Davies has blamed opposition to the plans for the downward fortunes of the printworks. By opposition, he specifically blames the Keep Llangollen Special community group.

“Neither we, nor any other opponents of the developments, have had any bearing on the state of the company’s business.
“Neither we nor any of the plans’ opponents have protracted the granting of planning permission in any way – no judicial reviews, no injunctions, only exercising our legitimate rights in objecting on behalf of the majority of Llangollen’s residents. Until Friday we were unaware the company’s prime customer was cancelling its contract.

“We saw the job cuts coming and warned him long ago and several times this would happen. We will not shoulder any further transfer of blame by the councillor and feel that the time has come for him to consider his position before the community is put at further risk.”
Cllr Davies told llanblogger he did not wish to respond to the KLS statement.


It seems perverse to blame the proposed redundancies at Dobson & Crowther on opposition to the Sainsbury’s superstore. Final planning was granted in December 2012, so why did the developers only start building the new factory in January 2014?  In any case, if the redundancies are the result of a lost contract, a new factory, or the lack of it, is a bit of red herring.
Gill Thomas

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