Update 30th October 2012:
I received a response from Patrick McLoughlin MP, Secretary of State for Transport, to the letter I co-ordinated with Heather Wheeler MP, Pauline Latham MP, and Andrew Griffiths MP (detailed below).
I have uploaded a copy of the response here.
Update 3 October 2012:
Following the decision by the Department for Transport to cancel the procurement process for the West Coast Mainline Franchise due to errors assessing the bids, I have coordinated a joint letter with Heather Wheeler MP, Pauline Latham MP and Andrew Griffiths MP to the new Secretary of State for Transport, asking that he freeze the Thameslink procurement process and review the process to ensure no similar errors have been made.
You can read the letter here: Letter to Dft re Bombardier following West Coast cancellation
Update 28 December 2011:
A deal for Bombardier to build, in Derby, new rolling stock for Southern Railways has been announced today.
The contract is worth £188m in total – including £80m of additional Government funding announced in the Autumn Statement.
This is great news for everyone working at Bombardier and in the supply chain in the area and a vindication of the work put in by so many people to campaign to save the plant.
While this contract is not a complete solution, it is nice for once to have a positive development – especially at this time of year!
Many constituents have contacted me about the decision to award the Thameslink Rolling Stock Contract to the Siemens-Consortium rather than the Bombardier one. I agree that this is a terrible decision and at a time when we need to support manufacturing jobs in the UK, and rebalance our economy, awarding this contract to a German-based manufacturer rather than Bombardier is hard to comprehend. I, together with some other Derbyshire MPs, have asked the National Audit Office to review the decision – see latest correspondence here.
I am still working to convince the Government to reconsider this decision or at least bring forward some other contracts to help keep train building at Bombardier in Derby, and in the UK.
I have raised this issue in Parliament on 4 occasions, starting on the day of the announcement in June, and including obtaining a 90 minute debate on the Future of the UK Train Building Industry – you can read the details here.
There are many issues that have come to light with the Siemens contract not least the structure of the deal which almost needs a bank rather than a train builder and the fact that Siemens have not yet built or tested a bogie, a key part of the train! The details on this were clarified follwing my written question to the Minister of State for Transport, Theresa Villiers MP. You can see the question and answer here.
I and other local Conservative MPs have also met the Prime Minister to show the local strength of feeling over this decision (he listened carefully and has asked his officials to look at the issues we raised) and also attended my first rally in Derby on 23 July along with thousands of other local people.
I, and my colleagues, will continue to take every opportunity to forward Bombardier’s case at the very highest level to try and get this poor decision reversed.