Out of touch

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I WRITE to say how appalled I am with the throwaway comment from Horsham MP Francis Maude, remarking that the announcement about parts of Novartis leaving Horsham is ‘not catastrophic’.

This just goes to show how out of touch these coalition Government MPs are when it comes to the working men and women of the UK.

I had the pleasure of working for Novartis (Ciba Geigy) for nearly 20 years. I am now retired, but the camaraderie within this company was second to none, many family members work there and made Novartis (Ciba Geigy) a company of excellence.

I still have members of my family working at Novartis, and can assure Francis Maude that for them and along with other members of staff at Novartis, this is more than catastrophic.

There is without doubt a very strong team of highly skilled workers, along with the research, who contribute a massive amount of expertise and input to the future health of the whole of the human race.

There is very little chance of workers finding jobs that require their skills in manufacturing medical products, the job scene in the UK is more than catastrophic and Francis Maude and his colleagues in parliament need to start realising this and basically pull their fingers out to make it easier for manufacturing companies to start up and to encourage more firms to invest in the UK.

The coalition Government is saying that it is focused on securing economic growth, therefore they should be trying to keep industries in the UK. There will be more to Novartis pulling out of the UK than we know, and I would suspect that other Novartis sites will be under review.

Horsham District Council says it wants new jobs to be created in the town, so it had better start working on this immediately and encourage companies to come to Horsham before Novartis pulls out altogether.

It is fine for bankers who are still lining their pockets with massive bonuses, and now we hear that MPs can go back to claiming extra expenses, so they will be all right - not for them the major worry now of where will these people get skilled work, and pay their mortgage.

There are a lot of young people who work at Novartis with high technical skills. This will now be lost, probably to other countries, and who can blame them. And as for the elder members of staff, this will be devastating to them.

I would say to Francis Maude, take a very good long look at what will be the outcome for these people and then say to them it is not catastrophic. After all many of these people would have probably voted for you in the past.

BRIAN JEFFS

Gateford Drive, Horsham