GAZETTE COMMENT: Jobs need to be safe to help town future

PCS members outside the Defra office in Alnwick.
PCS members outside the Defra office in Alnwick.

The reprieve given to staff at Alnwick’s Department for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs is good news, but we cannot let the powers-that-be rest on their laurels.

It is welcome news that the 36 jobs, which were at risk, are safe until next June, giving staff time to decide on their next course of action.

But it is only a stay of execution because, unless another contract can be sourced to guarantee positions , they will then be lost.

We know that talks are ongoing for more work to be contracted to the Alnwick site, which could even create more jobs. Hopefully, this will come to fruition before posts are moved to Newcastle.

In recent weeks, there has been positive news about jobs coming to the area.

Alnwick is revitalising, new shops, businesses and homes are being built. We need permanent work to sustain that and keep the town moving forward.

If this work is outsourced, it will have a knock-on effect on other businesses.

Let’s pray that these jobs are safe in the long-term and dare we hope that more are created?