THE MS for North Wales has called on the UK government to hand the Red Arrows maintenance and ‘stripping for spares’ contract to RAF Valley in Anglesey.
Union officials have been concerned about the future of jobs at RAF Valley since 2016, as contracts continue to be awarded to RAF Leeming.
The Leeming base has just recently seen significant investment from a contract to deliver support and training to the Qatar Air Force.
On a visit to Anglesey, Carolyn Thomas MS met with representatives from Unite Wales as well as Nia Griffith MP, the Shadow Secretary of Wales, to discuss the threats posed to jobs at RAF Valley.
A total 45 jobs have recently been lost at the facility via a previous redundancy exercise.
Mrs Thomas said: “The threat of further redundancies hanging over the workforce at RAF Valley needs to be withdrawn.
“This is a highly-skilled workforce with over 35 years of experience and a record of delivery.
“The base has already suffered a significant loss of skilled work recently, and the prospect of a further loss of jobs would cause serious economic damage to North Wales.”
Union officials have previously voiced concern that RAF Valley is being overlooked for contracts in favour of RAF Leeming, which is based in the constituency of the chancellor, Rishi Sunak MP.
Sunak has made public his intention to increase jobs at the base.
Mrs Thomas shared these concerns and called on the government to award the Red Arrows maintenance and ‘stripping for spares’ contracts to RAF Valley.
She added: “The UK government has enough in the pipeline to spread the workload across bases and therefore invest in all of its highly skilled workforces.
“They must remove the threat of further redundancies by awarding the maintenance contracts to RAF Valley, guaranteeing a future for the base in North Wales.”