Improving infrastructure is driving jobs in North Wales says Boris

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The Prime Minister Boris Johnson accompanied by the Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart visit a quarry at Hanson Aggregates in Penmaenmawr, North Wales. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Prime Minister Boris Johnson toured Hanson UK’s plant in North Wales yesterday (Thursday) where the firm has reopened a railway line to transport its construction aggregates.

Hanson, which employs over 3,500 people, has invested £300,000 in repairing, renewing and refurbishing its railhead facility at Penmaenmawr, Conwy as part of its UK rail strategy to reduce vehicle movements and cut associated CO2 emissions.

The PM was clearly impressed with the site calling it “incredible.”

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson accompanied by the Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart visit a quarry at Hanson Aggregates in Penmaenmawr, North Wales. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Mr Johnson said:

“They’ve been quarrying continuously here for granite for more than 100 years. But what they’re doing now is reopening a railway line because of the massive continuous demand from UK infrastructure for top-quality granite from North Wales.

“Whether it’s HS2 high-speed rail going north of Birmingham, whether it’s nuclear power at Sizewell or Hinkley, or indeed, as we hope, at Wylfa, there is a long, long continuous demand now, because of the plans this Government has for improving infrastructure and therefore for Welsh granite.

“And that is driving jobs here in North Wales.”

The Prime Minister also talked about changes to benefits forcing those looking for work to widen the type of jobs they apply for:

“You’ve got 1.25 million job vacancies in this country, 1.25 million jobs that aren’t being done. But we’ve also got 1.8 million people who are on welfare. Now, many of them can be helped rapidly into work. 

“That’s why we’re launching the Way to Work scheme today, to help them faster into the jobs that need doing across the UK – that’s good for the economy, it’s good for business, it helps to hold down inflation. And also it’s fantastic for the individuals themselves because the worst thing possible when you’re unemployed is to wait for too long. 

“And what we want to see is 500,000 of those Way to Work-ers get jobs by June.” 

Following his visit to Penmaenmawr, the PM moved on to the Orthios Eco Park, Holyhead on Ynys Mon. 

Work to transform the 230-acre former aluminium works into a green industrial park began in 2015 and it now fully integrates waste processing with renewable energy production.

The Prime Minister visits Orthios Eco-Park in Holyhead, North Wales. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

The Conservatives won the Ynys Mon constituency, from Labour, at the 2019 General Election when it also won a number of traditional Labour seats in north east Wales and across northern England.

The Prime Minister ended his visit to North Wales at RAF Valley in Anglesey where he spoke to engineers, technicians and apprentices and was shown aircraft, including the Texan T1.

The Prime Minister Boris Johnson accompanied by the Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart visits RAF Valley. In North Wales. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street

Asked on Thursday how the Prime Minister felt ahead of Sue Gray’s report investing alleged get togethers at Downing Street during lockdown, Mr Johnson’s official spokesman said:

“I think you saw the Prime Minister in the House yesterday talking about what the Government is doing, what he is focused on.

“That absolutely remains the case and that’s why he is getting out today to Wales to look at what work the Government’s doing on things like creating jobs.”

Asked if the Government had been distracted from policymaking by the partygate saga, the spokesman said:

“No, we are getting on with the job, as the Prime Minister said yesterday.”

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