APR 00] COVENTRY CITY COUNCIL NEWS
Coventry Council Debates Rover Crisis
BY ANTONY HOPKER
firms in Coventry have been challenged to work with the city council
to build a new bus station in the Barracks car park in the city centre.
Bob Waugh, who is chairman of the Economic Affairs Policy Team, told a
full council meeting that there would be buses in Broadgate, despite
fears to the contrary.
he said there should be a re-think of the routes buses used in the
city centre, and there should be a new approach to make sure that the
new city squares did not stifle use of public transport.
Waugh was using the changes being planned as part of a civic square
scheme as an illustration of Coventry’s ability to re-invent itself.
in a debate about the situation affecting Rover, Cllr Waugh said that
the city had shown an ability to get itself through countless crises
in the 1980s.
and Conservative councillors agreed that the city should offer help to
the taskforce set up to try and help the Longbridge plant through any
Socialist group abstained from the motion, after having an amendment
calling for the nationalisation of Rover defeated.
Dave Nellist (Socialist, St Michael’s) said:
British Aerospace before, BMW have cherry-picked the best bits of
problems facing Rover are not militancy or trade unions. In recent
years the workers have given more in terms of concessions and it’s
not made any difference.”
Nellist said the money for reviving the Longbridge area should be made
available to allow the workers to diversify and keep the plant open,
instead of waiting for hardship to set in.
council leader Arthur Waugh, opening the debate, said Coventry had
suffered similar problems to Longbridge on a weekly basis in the
said the loss of huge firms
like British Leyland, Alfred Herbert, Wickmans and the Coventry Gauge
and Tool Company had been a massive blow.
he said initiatives like the University of Warwick Science Park and
the Westwood Business Park, had helped the city recover.
took the Tory government three years to grant the West Midlands
region development area status – it wasn’t giving any money out.
West Midlands was the heart of manufacturing in the 1980s and it
looks like it will suffer again if it is not dealt with quickly,
compassionately and humanely.
a difference between the 80s, when Coventry suffered. We had a
government that didn’t care then. We have a government today that
cares and is prepared to look at the situation.”