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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Politicians voice concern over water company's future

Shareholders of a company have been urged to think of the workforce and local jobs when they vote on its future.

The Dee Valley Water board will decide which of two rival bids to accept on Thursday morning (January 12), with employees at the firm’s Rhostyllen headquarters having previously raised concerns about a possible takeover by Severn Trent Water.

The Coventry-based company has outbid investment firm Ancala, which is the workforce’s preferred option.

Clwyd South AM Ken Skates and MP Susan Elan Jones, along with Wrexham MP Ian Lucas, have put their names to a series of letters supporting the staff.

A joint statement by Mr Skates and Ms Jones said: “As the people elected to serve this area, we continue to fight for the Dee Valley workforce and for the people of Clwyd South. The employees have made it clear what they want, and we have supported them throughout this process. We continue to do so.

“First Minister Carwyn Jones spoke in Senedd about Dee Valley Water and said he could not support any change that would mean the loss of jobs at Rhostyllen. People’s livelihoods must be the primary concern when shareholders’ cast their vote.”

Wrexham MP Ian Lucas added: “This is a crucial meeting where the future of a valued local employer will be decided. Shareholders should understand that hundreds of jobs will be affected by the decisions they take and I would urge them to listen to the views of the people who work for Dee Valley Water.”

The three Labour politicians have previously said Severn Trent has not offered sufficient guarantees over jobs and welcomed Ancala’s intention to retain Dee Valley Water’s operations and brand.

Dee Valley Water employs about 180 people and has 230,000 customers across the Wrexham and Chester areas. The company’s average household bill is £126, compared to Severn Trent’s average of £174.

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