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Honda decision has left me in dismay

My heart sank in disbelief as the news broke that Honda was leaving Swindon. As an ex convenor I was working in Swindon’s Autoprime when it went insolvent. There were about 350 people involved, nothing like the number in Honda and supply companies.

But human emotions don’t change regardless of the number. The dismay of the people who had spent many loyal years working for the company.

The younger ones with mortgages, rent and bills to pay with young kids. I visualise the nightmare scenario that the Unite shop stewards are facing at the moment.

I know Paddy Brennan the works convenor and I know he will give it blood sweat and tears for his members as will his shop stewards.

In time of need. I only hope the company gives its loyal workforce the best financial package that they can under the difficult economic circumstances that the motor industry faces as electric cars replace diesel and petrol cars.

I don’t think for a moment that with such a vast financial stake in Swindon Honda took this step lightly. Perhaps this government could get around the table with Honda and try and reverse their decision.

Perhaps a few billion out of the foreign aid fund would help to save this financial massacre of the innocents. But I won’t bet my house on that solution.

I stood in my community centre bar at the Coleview on Monday with two of my good friends.

All three of us had a close family member working in Honda. It gives you an idea of the ripple effect this closure will cause all over our town and the county as well. I hope Swindon will recover as it did when British Rail and Leyland closed, but I don’t have a crystal ball.

The recent European deal to charge Japan no tariffs when selling in Europe didn’t help Swindon as we are the only European country with a Honda car plant.

The other one is in Turkey. The dithering of all our elected parliamentarians, and arguing instead of uniting together.

Leaving it to the last moment, if they manage even that. To come up with a mutually agreed trading deal, did not help either.

Let us all hope that other industries move to Swindon to fill the jobs lost at Honda and its supply companies. For all our sake and our future generations. With a very heavy heart.

Bill Williams, Merlin Way, Swindon

Brexit’s not to blame

First of all I would like to pass on my sorrow to all those at Honda and supportive businesses who are going to lose their jobs. I really do hope someone somewhere helps you all.

What is not helping is the likes of Ian Larrard, Molly Scott-Cato and others automatically lumping all the blame on to Brexit.

The Japanese Ambassador the head of Honda UK our own two MPs Mr Tomlinson Mr Buckland have all said it’s nothing to do with Brexit, it’s about global trends the fall in diesel car sales because of emissions the future is electric.

Honda is going electric or hybrid that’s the reason behind the shut down this had not been decided yesterday. The decision was made a good few years ago things of this magnitude take years to plan it’s just been a closely guarded secret. What we need now is one of the worlds billionaires or a consortium of like minded people to buy the plant from Honda who I’m sure would let it go cheaper for a quick sale and build our own electric/hybrid cars. British made cars for the British people we won’t need the Honda made cars then. Just a thought.

John L Crook, Haydon Wick

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