Dewsbury firm hits out at Kirklees Council for not using local supplies

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A BOSS at a long-established Dewsbury firm has hit out at Kirklees Council for not using local labour or supplies in a major building scheme.

Ken Beaumont says redundancies at Newlay Concrete might have been avoided if his company had been given the chance to get involved.

Newlay, he said, could have delivered materials with round trips of around six miles. Instead, he says, supplies are being brought in from outside the area even though one of the sites is on Newlay’s doorstep.

Mr Beaumont, sales and marketing director at Ravensthorpe-based Newlay which has operated in the area for 70 years, has now set up a meeting with the main builder in the new social housing scheme in Kirklees.

“This could be a chink of light,” said Mr Beaumont.

Newlay, said Mr Beaumont, is the only concrete block manufacturing company in Kirklees and could have easily supplied the needs of the projects.

“We have made a lot of redundancies yet we see work coming in and there is nothing we can do about it,” he said.

“It is a real bone of contention when people are looking for jobs. If we had got the contract to supply these blocks we could have doubled our workforce, which is a quarter of what it was in 2008. We are down to the bone.”

The construction is part of the Excellent Homes for Life initiative. A council spokesman said: “This project will deliver 466 new homes for rent. The homes are being built by Wates Living Space, part of the Regenter Excellent Homes for Life consortium.

“Wates select and manage suppliers and so far have appointed 35 specialist sub-contractors, of which 10 are based in Kirklees and a further 20 are from elsewhere in Yorkshire.

“The Council and Wates aim to encourage use of local suppliers where possible. Following Mr Beaumont’s contact with us, he is to meet with a senior representative from Wates to discuss potential opportunities for the future.“

Joanne Jamieson, regional managing director of Wates Living Space, said: “To date, 86 per cent of our supply chain are Yorkshire-based and 29 per cent from Kirklees. Procurement of materials and services is always aimed at providing best value. Here, concrete blocks have been sourced via a company based in Knottingley, West Yorkshire.”