Page last updated at 08:08 GMT, Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Call for Jaguar Land Rover help

Jaguar Land Rover
Thousands of jobs depend on Jaguar Land Rover

A council leader has called on the government to give financial support to Jaguar Land Rover.

Ken Taylor, leader of Coventry City Council, urged councillors to sign a petition calling for the firm to get a short-term loan or loan guarantee.

The firm, based in Gaydon, Warwickshire, has 15,000 employees with plants in Coventry, Solihull, Castle Bromwich and Merseyside.

But it has been hit by falling demand during the economic downturn.

Production at the Solihull Land Rover factory was delayed for a further week on Monday as the Christmas break was extended.

'Helping hand'

Mr Taylor said a recent meeting with the prime minister, chancellor and business secretary had left him feeling "hopeful" that a rescue package might be on the agenda.

And he urged people to sign the petition, which is in the main Council House reception area as well as Central Library in the City Centre.

He said: "We need to send the strongest possible message to the government that its support is vital if one of the UK's proudest and most internationally-recognised companies is to survive. This isn't a bail-out for big business and should not be seen as one.

"It is a helping hand to safeguard the jobs of thousands of Coventry and Warwickshire people - not only those who work directly for JLR but the many more whose livelihoods depend on supplying and making parts for the company. "

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