Before I start, I will state that the opinions in this are purely my own, nothing to do with my father and are not factual.
My father has worked at a factory called Firth Rixonfor around 36 years, since leaving school which is a pretty massive wedge of time, longer than I have existed, longer than he has known my mum. His job and the jobs of 159 others are currently under threat, not by the economy, not by factories shifting around, but by none other than the people who live in the area and the local council.
The people in the area surrounding the factory have suddenly started complaining about the noise from the press. The council served an order back in 2008 which Rixons appealed and spent a small fortune trying to comply with the orders.
The council have spent over £200,000 of local tax payers money to secure the noise abatement. This noise abatement means that the factory can now only operate at certain hours, making the factory completely uneconomic.
So what will the closing of the factory mean? What will be affected?
The 160 employees
Not just them their families, children, wives, husbands, parents, grandparents. The aftershock will ripple through families.
No more cricket matches, socials or football matches. Long gone will be the days of a fantastic Christmas knee’s up or a Thursday night down at the cricket club.
Stripping down a factory so close to a sensitive river can only do more harm than good. That river supplies water for farms, land and crops for many miles, polluting it with harmful dust from the breaking down of the factory is not a great idea.
The shop across the road, the local deli, chipshop and petrol stations will all be affected, not just that, but as the ripple effect takes hold even things like hairdressers will feel the effect. Not just in Darley Dale, but the surrounding areas.
Generations To Come
As Darley Dales largest employer (employing 160 people out of a possible 6000 in Darley Dale) Jobs will be in short supply over the coming months, and then years. Where exactly are the young kids supposed to get jobs?
Suppliers To Firth Rixons
Specialising in making engine components for aeroplanes, Rixons have been on site since the 1940′s building strong bonds with suppliers that will now face hardships as a result.
The Local Tax Payers
If what is rumoured is true and the council have indeed spent £200,000 on this matter then the local tax payers will be the ones who suffer. That money could be spent elsewhere or spent in reducing council tax costs.
The People They Supply Too
The companies like Rolls Royce who receive their parts and components from Rixons will soon suffer when they cannot receive their goods on time and at a good cost, again causing a ripple effect.
There are a number of places that discuss the goings on and the various views on it all;
BBC iPlayer – 2hours 12 minutes in
Derbyshire Dales District Council
The South Yorkshire Star
Make Your Own Noise
Comments and Considerations (not my own views – things I have noted from other comments)
- There are rumours and concerns that many of the residents making complaints do not actually live in the area full time, they are just 2nd home owners who spend a few weeks a year there.
- The council are obliged to follow through with the abatement order
- Why did the people buying the houses not notice the whacking great factory there when they bought the house. The factory has been there since the 1940′s.
- Have all the local residents been asked their opinion
- What will happen to the building, new houses? Another business? Both unlikely. Leaving the residents with an empty derelict building – perhaps people will hold illegal raves there, that is what usually happens to derelict buildings. Or if new business comes in, will it be equally as noisey and will it increase traffic?
- Instead of wasting court time trying to get jobs removed they should spend the court time on serious crime
- Have the residents considered triple glazing to soften/remove the noise?
- Is it closing because it is cheaper for Rixons to manufacture the products in the USA?
- Can the local residents complaining offer the 160 people jobs? Maybe they should offer their jobs up as payment for a peaceful nights sleep?
- I wonder how quickly the council will grant planning permission for new homes if the factory is pulled down? Hidden agenda?
- Are Darley Dale Town Council helping to keep jobs in the community?
Whatever happens to the factory and employees I wish you all the best of luck. I know many of you have been there for years, like my Father and will find it difficult to re-train or find further employment. I hope you remember the good times you have shared there and wish you every luck in the world moving on. I hope the factory stays open and you all keep your jobs for many years to come.
I know my opinions will not help the factory, but when it comes to my family, I will speak up. So please help in whatever way you feel is possible to save his job. He is a great man who works hard not just for his family but for the community and his work mates. The people at Rixons are not just work colleagues, they are a family who have stuck with each other through thick and thin, good times and bad, celebrating together and commiserating together. It is not just a factory making noise, it is an ecosytem of lives that if closed will impact on lives and the area for many many years to come. In a time of such economic turmoil, now is the time to stand up and fight to save what precious jobs we do have left.
Good luck all