Page last updated at 15:54 GMT, Monday, 4 July 2005 16:54 UK

Politicians urge 'hope and help'

The Christie Tyler group has always involved firms operating under different names and brands

The area of Bridgend in south Wales was left reeling on Monday from yet another blow to the manufacturing jobs market.

First it was Sony who announced the loss of 650 jobs. Then Wrigley's said 173 jobs would go at its sweet factory.

On Monday, it emerged that the town is to bear the brunt of yet more of losses after the Christie Tyler furniture group called in the receivers.

Cheryl Green, leader of Bridgend council, described it as a "bad week" for the town.

"This is the third one that's come along. I just hope this one will have a happier outcome and the jobs won't be lost here," she told BBC Wales.

"All the resources of the council will be available to help wherever we can and however we can, and I'm sure the Welsh Assembly Government and the government at Westminster will not want to see this happen."

Bridgend MP Madeleine Moon was trying to retain a positive frame of mind.

"You have to be hopeful, you have to be hoping that someone will look at this," she said.

"After all, this is a company with a tremendous record, you are talking about a skilled workforce and a stable factory.

"On the whole, this has been a good local employer."

Bridgend town centre
For every person that could lose their job there is a mortgage and family dependent on the income
Alun Cairns AM

Plaid Cymru Assembly Member Leanne Wood said: "The government needs to take action to address the problems currently faced by manufacturers.

"This is naturally a worrying time for the workers at the plants in south Wales. It is also very disturbing news for Bridgend, Pontypridd and Blackwood..."

'Going concerns'

The furniture group had already announced the closure of two factories in Flintshire, north Wales, where 420 stand to lose their jobs.

Receivers for Christie Tyler said the group had struggled to sell its products in the face to tough international competition.

Delyn AM Sandy Mewies has tabled an urgent assembly question to Economic Development Minister Andrew Davies, which will be answered when the assembly next sits on Tuesday afternoon.

Mr Davies said later: "I am concerned to hear that the administrators have been appointed to the Christie Tyler group of companies, and the uncertainty that this will bring for those employed by the group.

"The Welsh Assembly Government, together with its Team Wales partners, will work very closely with the administrators over the coming weeks to try and maintain these businesses as going concerns, as we have done successfully on a number of occasions in the past, for example with Allied Steel and Wire.

"Through the Welsh Development Agency, we have offered the receivers' specific assistance to identify purchasers for the businesses through their extensive network, both in the UK and overseas."

Alun Cairns, for the Conservatives in the assembly, said: "This is dreadful news particularly on the back of Sony and Wrigley's job losses.

"For every person that could lose their job there is a mortgage and family dependent on the income. This is further evidence of the meltdown in manufacturing."

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