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Tuesday, 19 November, 2002, 12:13 GMT
MP criticises agency's role
Allied Steel and Wire at Tremorfa, Cardiff
Harsh trading conditions at ASW were blamed
A Labour MP has criticised a regional development agency for allegedly failing workers after the closure of a steel plant in his Kent constituency.

Derek Wyatt, the MP for Sittingbourne and Sheppey, said the South East England Development Agency (Seeda) failed to help workers at the steel manufacturer Allied Steel and Wire (ASW).

In July, it was announced ASW would close with the loss of 800 jobs in Cardiff and 300 at Sheerness in Kent.

ASW went into receivership in the wake of US steel tariffs.

No meetings

Mr Wyatt told MPs Seeda had made no contact with workers from the company.

"Not a phone call, not one meeting," he said.

"I hope the Seeda chairman is carpeted and the chief executive offers his resignation.

"They have badly let down my community.

"They are out of touch and out of sight."

However, Seeda representatives said Mr Wyatt was wrong.

Jim Braithwaite, from Seeda, said they had been working behind the scenes since July and that it was late for Mr Wyatt to make comments.

"If Mr Wyatt really wanted to do something he would be lobbying for the Isle of Sheppey to have assisted area status," he said.


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See also:

11 Nov 02 | Wales
24 Jul 02 | Wales
10 Jul 02 | Wales
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