The caravan industry is as important to Yorkshire & the Humber as the car industry is to the West Midlands and we need to protect it from the impact of the global economic situation.
Atlas Holiday Homes in Wiltshire Road were forced into administration last month as a result of the bank’s risk-adverse attitude towards lending. I am in contact with the administrators and am hopeful of Atlas emerging as a going concern as a result of their viability and the fact they have a full order book.
I am seeking a meeting the Business Secretary, Lord Mandelson, in order to make clear how important the industry is to the region and to set out what support it needs from government in order to get through this difficult time. A principle problem appears to be credit insurance. I also met with UCATT and we agreed to seek the establishment of a strategic forum for the industry in Hull and East Yorkshire to plan ahead.
We need to strengthen the industry in order for it to be ready for when the demand comes back for holiday homes and caravans.
In the short-term we need to be looking at what we can do for the 15,000 people who have lost their jobs in this sector. We need to make sure that there is access to benefits, access to new jobs and help with job applications and re-training so people can find work quickly.
Cattles Invoice Finance
I know that it isn’t just the caravan industry that is struggling in the current economic circumstances. Cattles is a financial services company that was established in Hull 82 years ago and employs many of my constituents. It is a successful and growing business that is experiencing credit problems.
Around 1,000 redundancies are being considered and I am working with the Treasury and the Financial Services Authority to try and prevent these job losses within the 90 day deadline.