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Speech on Auto Windscreens- request for a debate

Speech on Auto Windscreens- request for a debate

This is the speech that I made on Tuesday to highlight the case of Auto Windscreens, a Chesterfield based company who went into administration on Monday.

In it I requested a debate on the matter, which was refused by the Speaker. However it allowed me to put the matter on the public record and to highlight the importance and urgency of this case.

15th February 2010, 358pm

I rise to propose that the House should discuss a specific and important matter that I believe should have urgent consideration-the decision of Auto Windscreens to go into administration yesterday, with the possible loss of 1,100 jobs.

Auto Windscreens employs about 400 people in my constituency, in head office, call centre and manufacturing functions. The loss of those jobs would be catastrophic to an area that is already set to be the worst hit in Derbyshire by the cuts in public sector jobs. Staff were sent home yesterday, and as of today there is no money to pay them for the 14 days’ work that they have done this month, nor for their ongoing employment. However, in an effort to sell the business as a going concern, the administrator, Deloitte, has not yet made staff redundant, so they are effectively in limbo. The company is unable to trade, which will make it more difficult for it to be sold. Time is very much of the essence.

I would like to debate what action the Government can take to support Deloitte to get Auto Windscreens trading again. With every passing day that it is not trading, the task of finding a buyer becomes more difficult and the challenge of turning the business round grows. I would like to debate what action the Government can take to support finding buyers; to help them access the funding required to get the business back on a stable footing; and to support either the moribund regional development agency, which would previously have been expected to co-ordinate the response, or the fledgling Sheffield city region local enterprise partnership, to undertake that co-ordination.

I would also like to debate whether, in the absence of Auto Windscreens, Autoglass, the UK market leader, would have an effective monopoly, and the impact on pricing and, by extension, insurance premiums. I would further like to debate what action the Government can take, in the event of the company failing to be salvaged, to assist the 1,100 employees to find work, and to find out whether discussions have taken place with the trade union to explore the possibility of some sort of employee or management buy-out.

Auto Windscreens is an important employer in my constituency, an important contributor to the UK economy, an important part of the UK automotive industry, an important supplier to the motor insurance industry, and an important component of any private sector-led recovery.

At times like this, it is vital that the employees affected, and people throughout Britain, can see politicians working together swiftly to save those jobs in the national interest. I hope that we can debate in the Chamber what can be done, or that the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, Mr Prisk will agree to meet me, the administrators and any other people who can help get Auto Windscreens trading again and save those 1,100 jobs, which we can all ill afford to lose.

2 Responses to “Speech on Auto Windscreens- request for a debate”

  1. lee forester says:

    i would just like to thank mr perkins in all the hardwork he is putting in to save autowindscreens,As an employee for the 12 years i have made many friends and met many satisfied custumers ,its a shame things have come to this ,its just down to bad management.An investeor/buyer OR ANY INTELIGENT person who sees this …this company was makeing monoey before certain computer/pda systems were bought in…bring back old fashion depots/managers and this place will make a fortune..CUSTUMERS DONT WANT TO SPEAK TO AUTOMATED PHONES ..THEY WANT THE REAL DEAL..THE MANAGER WHO KNOWS WHAT THE JOB INTAILS….MANY THANKS MR LEE FORESTER

  2. Jackie Young says:

    There does exist technology that would enable the contact centre people to work remotely from home. This would hugely decrease the overheads and assist in getting the company back into a trading state. I am sure it can be done.

    There is room for more than just 1 UK provider of auto glass services lets keep Auto Windscreens going.

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I am Toby Perkins, Labour's Member of Parliament for Chesterfield. If you would like to get in touch with me, my office is open and can be reached by phone on 01246 386 286. I also hold regular surgeries so that constituents can meet me and I can take up their concerns. If you would like to make an appointment then please do contact my office. Thank you for visiting.

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