30 July 2009
The Isle of Wight's Green Euro-MP is to submit an urgent proposal to the Leader of the Isle of Wight Council for support for a workers co-op at the Vestas wind turbine manufacturing plant to be established under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007.
Dr Lucas's submission, which offers a practical and sustainable solution to the current dispute over the proposed closure of the plant, will be delivered tomorrow at 4pm to Cllr David Pugh by Brian Lucas from Isle of Wight Green Party and a representative of the workers at the Vestas plant.
Under the Sustainable Communities Act 2007, councils and communities have the opportunity to put forward proposals on sustainable improvements to local economic, environmental and social wellbeing. Once established, individual councils' proposals are sent to the Government via the Local Government Association. The deadline for current submissions to the LGA is 31st July 2009.
In a last ditch attempt to keep the Vestas plant open, Dr Lucas will call on the IoW Council to ask for Government support under the terms of the 2007 Act to ensure that:
- The workers of the wind turbine company Vestas are permitted to form a Workers' Cooperative, and are supported in doing so by the government.
- Financial support (at the very least unemployment benefit) is paid to the workers of Vestas until such time as the proposed Workers' Cooperative is financially viable.
Dr Lucas commented: "If the government is serious about tackling climate change, helping to protect the future of UK manufacturing, and safeguarding local jobs, it must act now to keep the Vestas facility open for business.
"By submitting a proposal under the Sustainable Communities Act for a workers' co-op, the Council can demand that the government provides the investment and assurances necessary to save this facility - on the basis that it plays a crucial economic and environmental role in the local community.
"Failure to keep the Vestas plant open will represent a spectacular failure by the government to match its rhetoric on green jobs with real policy action. It should be seizing the opportunity to create a renewable energy revolution that can see us through a transition towards a more environmentally and economically stable economy. Allowing the IoW plant to close now would be a massive embarrassment for ministers - and devastating for the IoW's workers."
Notes to Editors
Brian Lucas, Isle of Wight Green Party, can be contacted on 07812 053893 or on email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the work of Caroline Lucas MEP, please contact Melissa Freeman on 07950 382149 or visit www.carolinelucasmep.org.uk .