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Neath factory closure - minister to liaise with firm

The Welsh Government says it will continue to liaise with Crown Packaging UK following an announcement that it proposes to close the Neath site.

This is very disappointing news resulting from a downturn in global demand.

The Economy Minister has been briefed by representatives of the company and the Union.

We will continue to liaise with the company and union during the consultation period and consider what support we can provide.

If necessary, this could include the establishment of a task force to help employees affected by this decision.”

– Welsh Government spokesperson

Closure of 'The Box' is 'gut wrenching'

Local leaders in Neath say the planned closure of Crown Packaging, known locally as "The Box", will hit the area hard.

Hundreds of workers were told this morning of the proposed shut-down.


Gwenda Thomas, AM for the Neath Constituency said, "The Box" has been part of Neath for nearly 80 years and provided income for thousands of local families over this time.

As soon as I was made aware of the impending consultation, I immediately contacted the Welsh Government Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart AM, and have been assured that the Welsh Government will do everything possible both during and following the consultation process to assist the company and its workforce.

I am assured that arrangements are being made for all apprentices to complete their studies and will do all I can to assist those directly and indirectly affected by this devastating blow to the employees of Crown Packaging, their families and our local economy.

– Gwenda Thomas AM

Local MP Christina Rees said the news has left "a gut wrenching feeling":

This iconic Neath plant is imbedded in the town, and so many local people have links to the place. I would like to express my sincerest sympathies to the loyal workforce that have given the plant such a superb reputation.

– Neath MP Christina Rees


Workers told factory is to close - 245 jobs at risk

A food packaging company at Neath says it plans to close.

Crown Packaging in Neath. Credit:

Crown Packaging UK told ITV Cymru Wales it had launched a consultation with trade unions representatives concerning the proposed closure of the site on the Milland Road Industrial Estate.

We understand this will be a difficult time for all people associated with the Neath Factory and we are actively meeting with all employees at the site to explain the proposal in further detail.

– Carol Davis, Regional Human Resources Director, Crown

Unite says 200 of its members at Crown Packaging were told on Thursday morning that the plant is to shut down due to "over capacity in the market."

Unite is calling on the Welsh Government to intervene.

This is a further body blow to the Welsh Manufacturing sector and to Neath in particular, which has suffered a series of losses of significant employers in recent years.

We call upon the Welsh Government to do everything in its power to intervene and to discuss with the company alternatives to plant closure.

– Unite Wales Secretary Andy Richards

Singer Katherine Jenkins gives birth to baby girl

Classical singer Katherine Jenkins has announced that she has given birth to a baby girl.

Taking to Twitter Katherine from Neath said her daughter had been called Aaliyah Reign Levitas and she weighed seven pounds when she was born in New York.

Mummy is recovering well and Daddy couldn't be prouder of his two gorgeous princesses. Cwtches all round.

– Katherine Jenkins

Jenkins married American film director and artist Andrew Levitas in 2014.

Appeal for student last seen on a bus to college

Police are appealing for information regarding the whereabouts of 17-year-old student last seen on her way to college.

Adriana Gaborova was last seen on a bus in Neath. Credit: South Wales Police

Adriana Gaborova, was last seen at around 0745 on the morning of Friday 4th September when she travelled on a bus to college in Neath from the Afan Valley, where she lives.

She was last seen wearing a pink hooded top with light blue ripped jeans and black and white trainers and carrying a purple handbag.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting occurrence number 1500326259.

Shane Williams returns to old team Neath

Shane Williams is returning to Neath - this time as an ambassador, but he hasn’t ruled out pulling on the famous black jersey once again.

Shane has signed up to be an ambassador for the club. Credit: PA

The 2008 world player of the year has agreed to lend a helping hand to the club where it all began for him in senior rugby.

Recently retired Williams will provide support for the club's coaching team and take on ambassadorial duties.

Williams turned down an approach from Merthyr RFC a fortnight ago.

If he can get himself fit enough then it would be great to see him play a few games, but it will be a question of working around his other commitments and seeing how best we can make things work for us and for him.

– Neath owner Mike Cuddy


Police appeal for help to find missing Neath man

South Wales Police is appealing for help to find a 27-year-old man missing from the Neath area.

Jonathan Sims is described as, 5ft f10, of thin build and with short brown hair. Credit: South Wales Police

Jonathan Sims was last seen on Thursday 23 June, at around 5pm, when he was wearing a yellow hoodie with blue jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101 on Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police appeal after jewellery stolen from pensioner

Police are appealing for information after a large quantity of jewellery was stolen from a pensioner during a house burglary in Morriston.

Police issued an image of some of the missing jewellery. Credit: South Wales Police

The incident happened at Tanylan Terrace sometime between 2.15pm and early evening on Thursday 23rd April while the 68-year-old woman was in her garden cutting the lawn.

The suspect entered the house and stole items from a handbag and jewellery from a bedroom.

“This would appear to be an opportunist burglary where the suspect has entered the house while the occupant was outside cutting the grass in her garden. She is recently widowed and this jewellery is of huge sentimental value. I would appeal to anyone who has information about the burglary or the stolen property to come forward.”

– Detective Inspector Trudi Meyrick, Neath CID

Anyone with any information is urged to call South Wales Police on 101.

Hain calls politics "a mission" in final Commons speech

In his final speech in the House of Commons, Neath MP Peter Hain said politics is "not a career but a mission".

Hain used to final speech to pay tribute to his father. Credit: PA

The veteran Labour MP and two-time Welsh Secretary is standing down after 24 years. Hain also used his valedictory address to quote his father, who he described as the "best in the world" and Nelson Mandela.

"What counts in life is not merely the fact that we have lived, it is what difference we have made to the lives of others."

– Peter Hain

He said he was proud of the achievements of the last Labour government - particularly bringing peace to Northern Ireland and devolution to Wales.

"It is not about a career, it is a mission. We should never be in it for ourselves but for our values. For me these are equality, social justice, equal opportunities, liberty and democracy in a society based on mutual care and mutual support, not the selfishness and greed now so sadly disfiguring Britain. Progressive change only comes through the combination of extra-parliamentary and parliamentary action."

– Peter Hain
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