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Assurances Sought For Dawnus Workers

Reports Welsh construction firm 'in adminstration.'

Swansea Council Leader Rob Stewart has released a statement this afternoon:

"It’s extremely sad news that Dawnus is to enter administration and our thoughts go out to the staff and the sub-contractors who have been working with Dawnus on the Kingsway and other projects.

"The Kingsway scheme is vital to our on-going plans to regenerate the city and local economy - and we are 100% committed to completing the works

"From today the council is taking control of the site. Our priority is to make the site safe and secure for motorists and pedestrians in the city centre

"Yesterday we took urgent action to consider our options for delivering this project in the absence of the main contractor

"We have already taken a number of steps and aim to appoint a new main contractor as quickly as possible within the next few weeks.

"There are a number of legal, financial and technical issues related to appointing a new contractor and we are working through these as a matter of urgency. We are already in discussions with the supply chain

"Dawnus also recently began work as the main contractor for the council’s new pupil referral unit at Cockett.

"We are taking similar steps to take control of that site today. We will ensure it is safe and secure. We are taking steps to appoint a new main contractor thee in the coming weeks

"We are determined that these two important schemes are completed as planned.

"We want to reassure the public and businesses that, working with others, we are taking all the necessary steps to resolve these issues as quickly as possible"

Conservative AM for South Wales West Suzy Davies told us: “This is devastating news for Swansea.

“The news of Dawnus going into administration raises serious concerns about the time frame and cost of Swansea Kingsway development but it also goes much further than that.

“As a well-known Swansea company, there is bound to be an effect on businesses in the supply chain, as well as the local residents who worked for Dawnus and its contractors.”

Mrs Davies went on to add “When the concerns around Dawnus first surfaced on Wednesday I submitted an urgent Assembly question to Welsh Government which unfortunately was not accepted.

 “I have since written to Welsh Government to find out whether they can offer some support they can offer to workers as they have done with Tata and Ford.  I’ve also asked how they can support Swansea Council and other Welsh local authorities that have signed contracts with Dawnus.

"There is also a serious question to be asked about what has led to this. Has Dawnus received all payments that it’s entitled to?  If not, those who owe them money have a lot of explaining to do, especially if they are public sector bodies.  

“Of course, it could be that there is a deeper issue than cashflow.  Assembly Members have been very sceptical of the quality of some of the contracts that Welsh Government signs, so it will be interesting to find out what protection Swansea Council secured for itself in the event of Dawnus going into administration; it was known that the company had financial difficulties in 2017.

Mrs Davies, whose office is in Christina Street at the top end of the Kingsway, added “Swansea residents have been very patient with the delays to the city centre redevelopment despite having been through it all before with the Boulevard project.  

“It’s exasperating enough for residents.  With a number of projects coming to a head in Swansea, and the city using both its regeneration plan and the Swansea Bay City Deal to attract attention, the last thing we want is for investors to see us as the City of Bollards.”

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