My actions for Bombardier

Sir,

I would like to thank Mrs Matthews for writing an open letter to me through the Advertiser, it gives me the perfect platform in which to reply and let all readers know what actions I have taken regarding Bombardier.

I have met with the Minister for Transport, Theresa Villiers; The Secretary for State, Philip Hammond and also The Prime Minister, David Cameron.

I have met with constituents who are concerned about Bombardier, as indeed I met with Mrs Matthews at Ilkeston Town Hall at one of my weekly surgeries.

I attended the protest Rally which was held in Derby and also the jobs fair, which was held to assist workers affected by redundancies.

Whilst lobbying, I have heavily supported all attempts to change future government procurement contracts, to make sure that Britain can compete with Europe and the rest of the world. This has been successful and before any more procurement contracts are tendered the process is to be reviewed.

The Thameslink contract has been awarded to Siemens as the preferred bidder under the procurement process set out by the last government.

The bids had to be judged on the specifications set, which after being set, cannot be altered, as huge amounts of money, time and specialist consultations take place by each bidder in order to reach their best offer.

As readers may know, regardless of winning the Thameslink contract, Bombardier had an immediate gap in the order books that could not be filled in time by any contracts they had bid for and therefore had to make redundancies. I have seen a letter to the Secretary of State for Transport from Bombardier confirming this.

In spite of my representations, the government has made it clear that it will not scrap and re-write the tender, as it would cause further delays to the programme, which was originally set to take place in the year 2000.

I think that it would be very irresponsible of me to raise the hopes of the redundant workers and their families by putting my name to anything that has been answered by government and which has, very unhelpful, party political motives.

I am deeply concerned about the future of Bombardier and continue to lobby ministers to provide future contracts to the company.

Earlier last decade, CrossCountry bought a new fleet of diesel trains from Bombardier and I am very pleased to hear that the Department for Transport is looking into the possibility of upgrading this fleet to enable them to run using electric power.

I understand that Ministers have asked the rail industry to complete a quick study into whether this is technically feasible and whether there would be a good business case which provided value for money for the taxpayer.

As the manufacturer of the original train, Bombardier are in a good place to win the work, we need to ensure they are given every opportunity for any future contracts.

I continue to lobby departments to commit to spending in Derbyshire and especially where possible in Erewash.

Jessica Lee

Erewash MP