BAE Woodford - End of an Era

October 26, 2010 5:41 PM
Mark at the BAE site in Woodford

Mark at the BAE site in Woodford

Following an urgent meeting with the Secretary of State for Defence this morning where the decision, announced yesterday by the Prime Minister, to abandon the MRA4 Nimrod Project as quickly as possible was confirmed, local MP Mark Hunter has paid tribute to the workforce whose jobs are now under threat.

Mr Hunter, who has fought consistently for the Nimrod in Parliament, said the news was "bitterly disappointing" and would be a "hammer blow" to all the loyal and dedicated professionals still working at BAE Systems Woodford. The Nimrod project, scheduled to be completed in 2012, was to have been the final job at the site which is now likely to close early next year (2011) instead.

The Secretary of State claimed the existence of a £38 billion deficit in the Defence Budget inherited from the previous administration means drastic action has to be taken now to bring expenditure back under control. The PM told Parliament yesterday that the Nimrod project alone had cost £3 billion and that the cost of individual aircraft had increased by over 200%.

Commenting, Mark said:

"This is a sad end for a truly historic site, and I am desperately disappointed for the hundreds of workers still employed there, who frankly deserved better in my opinion.

"I have today written to the CEO of BAE Systems Ian King to press the company to stick to its previous arrangements on redeployment and retaining Woodford employees wherever possible. I've also spoken to Council Leader David Goddard to ensure that SMBC does all it can to help in this difficult situation."

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