The Government has decided to move towards a contract for the construction of up to 500 new Mechanised Army Infantry Vehicles to a German led consortium, without competitive tenders.
Despite a cross party letter that I coordinated from MPs, a similar letter co-ordinated by my Assembly Colleague, Dawn Bowden AM and despite a follow up meeting between myself, Wayne David MP & the Defence Procurement Minister, the Government chose to make an announcement on Easter Saturday on the MOD’s website.
It is understood that this acquisition will be achieved using a “single-source” arrangement that does not allow for other manufacturers to bid for the potential £2 billion contract. Companies such as General Dynamics, based in Merthyr Tydfil and Oakdale, would have been a contender to bid for this work and this would create hundreds more jobs in Merthyr Tydfil.
What I find particularly shameful is that the announcement was made on Easter Saturday, a time when Parliament is in recess and unable to call for further scrutiny.
With the lack of certainty over Brexit, British businesses need reassurance that the Government is on their side and fighting their corner. Giving work of this scale to a German led consortium in a single-source arrangement, shows this Tory Government is shamefully turning their back yet again on areas like ours.
This is extremely disappointing given the potential for hundreds more secure jobs, building on the now well established presence of General Dynamics in Merthyr Tydfil. However, I will continue to work with them and other local businesses to stand up and fight for business opportunities across Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney.
Building on the success of last year’s event, Myself & Dawn Bowden AM will be hosting an event for voluntary and community groups looking to access grants. This is being scheduled for June, please watch out for details.