So much for the boost to the local economy
March 27, 2014 1 Comment
Here is a sample of recent news stories about the construction of The Forum.
Contractor apppointed to build new £27m Southend library (9 February 2012)
The library is set to bring benefits for the town, as Wates has pledged to source as much labour and materials as possible from the local area.
It will also provide four apprenticeships, stage community days and host 70 work experience days for students and pupils.
New Southend Library bringing work boost (7 June 2013)
TRAINING and employment in Southend has been given a boost as building work continues on a new £27million landmark library.
Wates Construction, which is building the Forum in Elmer Square, has taken on four apprentices for the project and provided 160 hours’ work experience to youngsters.
Essex companies benefit from Southend’s new £27m library (8 August 2013)
Contractor Wates Construction chose ten Essex suppliers to make sure the county’s businesses benefited from the cash coming into the area.
A number of promises about using local Labour; I have tried to find out the truth of these statements.
After a bit of to-ing and fro-ing I have received the following information:-
Local Employees at the Forum, Southend on Sea
Employed by Wates (Direct & Agency) – 15
P&J Decorators – 6
Kershaws Mechanical Services – 6
F & W electrical – 12
SCL Ceilings and Partitions – 2
Knightbuild – 4
Swift Brickwork – 4
Swift scaffolding -6
Axiom flooring and carpets -6
I also managed to tease this out of a council official as regards to total numbers employed:
“ …it is approximately 220 excluding off site manufacturing.
I have received confirmation from Wates that of the four apprentices employed on site two were residents of Southend-on-Sea.”
So, 61 out of 220 of those employed are local – a mere 28%; so much for Wates pledges and the boost to training and employment in Southend.
Bearing in mind just how much Southend’s council tax payers paid into this project one cannot help but feel somewhat cheated.