Wednesday, September 08, 2004

MoD Contract

A decision on whether a Barnsley company has secured a £1.4 billion contract for a fleet of new Army vehicles is due any day. Mercedes Benz is one of four short-listed bidders for the Ministry of Defence contract which could create more than 1,000 jobs. A successful bid would result in the Tankersley plant manufacturing more than 1,000 cargo vehicles and tankers a year.

Barnsley MPs Eric Illsley, Jeff Ennis and Michael Clapham teamed up with Richard Nutter from the Barnsley Development Agency to lobby government ministers to convince the to award the contract to Mercedes.

From a local perspective, a successful bid would be a major shot in the arm to an area still trying to recover from the privations of the miners strike 20 years ago, which decimated employment.

Russian Speakers' Visit

Members of the Barnsley Russian Speaking community group have met with the town's three MPs. The group travelled to the Houses of Parliament along with other ethnic community groups from Barnsley to meet with Eric Illsley, Jeff Ennis and Mick Clapham. Next year the group is planning a delegation to Donetsk in the Ukraine to strengthen cultural and economic ties with the area.