Wednesday, September 08, 2004

MoD Contract

A decision on whether a Barnsley company has secured a £1.4 billion contract for a fleet of new Army vehicles is due any day. Mercedes Benz is one of four short-listed bidders for the Ministry of Defence contract which could create more than 1,000 jobs. A successful bid would result in the Tankersley plant manufacturing more than 1,000 cargo vehicles and tankers a year.

Barnsley MPs Eric Illsley, Jeff Ennis and Michael Clapham teamed up with Richard Nutter from the Barnsley Development Agency to lobby government ministers to convince the to award the contract to Mercedes.

From a local perspective, a successful bid would be a major shot in the arm to an area still trying to recover from the privations of the miners strike 20 years ago, which decimated employment.

MP seeks views on burning issue

Barnsley West and Penistone MP Mick Clapham is asking his constituents to have their say on whether or not smoking should be banned in public places. He says it has been banned in pubs, clubs, bars and restaurants from Dublin to Los Angeles and asks whether Barnsley should do the same.

He says Medical evidence increasingly shows that second-hand smoke is a major health risk for workers and friends of smokers. It's a question that divides friends and even families. On one side are the health concerns of staff and customers who do not smoke. On the other, the right of smokers to enjoy their habit and the worries of business owners who are concerned over losing valuable customers.

Mick Clapham can be contacted at his constituency office:

Mr Michael Clapham MP
18 Regents Street
S70 2HG

Russian Speakers' Visit

Members of the Barnsley Russian Speaking community group have met with the town's three MPs. The group travelled to the Houses of Parliament along with other ethnic community groups from Barnsley to meet with Eric Illsley, Jeff Ennis and Mick Clapham. Next year the group is planning a delegation to Donetsk in the Ukraine to strengthen cultural and economic ties with the area.