North East Wales

Dee Valley Water jobs fears after Severn Trent takeover

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More than a dozen workers at the Wrexham-based Dee Valley Water company face losing their jobs after its £84m takeover by Severn Trent.

The new owners have undertaken a review and feel there are "areas of duplication" and are, so far, unable to find alternative roles for 14 people.

Concerns about the future of Dee Valley's 166 workers were raised before February's takeover.

Severn Trent are "in consultation" with workers over possible redundancies.

North Wales AMs Mark Isherwood and Llyr Gruffydd have highlighted fears about the future of the employees of Dee Valley, which has 230,000 customers across the Wrexham and Chester areas.

Before the takeover, First Minister Carwyn Jones had said he would "not support any change that would mean the loss of Welsh jobs".

But Severn Trent have announced possible job losses, which are mainly "support roles", two months since the High Court ruled they could take over Dee Valley Water.

"While the vast majority of employees remain unaffected, it's inevitable that there are areas of duplication when you bring two businesses together," continued the Severn Trent statement.

"We're currently in a consultation period. There are 14 people we've not been able to find alternative roles for so far but we continue to work with them during this period.

"If they're left without a role at the end of this time we'll then offer outplacement support, as well as contacting local employers and local government on their behalf."

Mr Isherwood, Conservative AM for north Wales, recently attended a meeting of the Consumer Council for Water Wales where he sought assurances Dee Valley customers and staff would not be adversely affected by the takeover.

Afterwards, he said: "They told us that they wanted to give everyone in the team at Dee Valley Water at least three options, that they had spoken to them on an individual basis and that just 14 out of 166 team members only had the option of voluntary redundancy.

"They told me team members still have a month before they have to come back with their decisions and that this information would then be shared with us.

"We were told that they remain committed to Dee Valley's Wrexham and Chester sites."

'Competing for jobs'

Mr Gruffydd, Plaid Cymru AM for north Wales, has written to Severn Trent asking whether more Dee Valley workers will face redundancy, whether Severn Trent workers are at risk of redundancy and how many staff at their Rhostyllen call centre will face redundancy next year.

"The takeover clearly meant that jobs would be lost at Dee Valley, which is why I was opposed to the proposal," he said.

"This process has begun and my priority now is to ensure that workers in Wrexham don't find themselves at a disadvantage when competing for jobs within the company."

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