- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Category: Press Releases
MIKE HEDGES SUPPORTS OSPREYS STAYING INDEPENDENT AND ASKS WELSH GOVERNMENT TO TAKE INTO ACCOUNT THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF A MERGER.
Speaking after the Plenary session in Cardiff Bay, Mike Hedges said…. Like a lot of my constituents I am very worried about what has been going on with the Ospreys over the past few days. I have submitted a Statement of Opinion registering my support for The Osprey’s to remain independent. It is of course, not just not a rugby matter – this is a business that employs a lot people directly, and indirectly through hospitality staff. If there is a merger these jobs will be at risk and I have asked the Welsh Government to at least look at the issues to do with the economic impact. On top of the jobs, there is the money brought in to the Swansea economy when visiting supporters visit, stay in the area and spend money locally. All of this adds up to quite an impact beyond the simply rugby matters.
I hope that for both rugby and economic reasons, both clubs remain independent and both clubs contribute to their local communities and economies.
Mike Hedges AM – May I associate myself with everything said by Dai Lloyd and David Rees? What I would like also to say, of course, is that the seventy-fifth biggest company in the SA region is the Ospreys. The eighty-fourth biggest company in the SA region is the Scarlets. We’re talking about major employers. Many of my constituents have been worried since it was talked about that they would not have a job. And relocating to north Wales to be a ticket salesperson, I would suggest, is not really on the cards, and Llanelli will have more than they need if there’s a merger anyway. So, what I’m saying is, will the Welsh Government look at this from an economic point of view, as opposed to a sporting point of view? And my interest in sport is well known, I think, to almost everybody in this room—but from an economic point of view, and also the economic benefit that my constituency gets having the Liberty stadium there of events taking place there. The rugby matches taking place there, the 8,000, 10,000 people who turn up, who bring money into the area, for the benefit of our local economy. Our local economy in Swansea cannot afford to lose jobs, it cannot afford to lose people coming in and spending money. Will the Welsh Government look at this from the economic point of view? I’m very upset from a sports view, and dare I say from David Rees’s, from the point of view of providing support within the community. But what I’m more worried about is people losing their jobs, and the loss of employment, and a loss of money in my constituency.