Demise of shipyard 'worse than Ford'

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by , Parliamentary Correspondent

THE demise of BAE’s Portsmouth shipyard would be even more of a bombshell for Southampton than the closure of Ford, a city MP has warned.

With hundreds of dockyard workers employed in his Itchen constituency alone, Labour’s John Denham said that the closure would leave an “irreplaceable hole” in the region’s economy.

Mr Denham said: “It is a significant issue for Southampton as well as Portsmouth.

“You are probably talking about an even more significant impact on south Hampshire than we got from Ford. There are more people working there, and a greater concentration of highly skilled workers and it is one of the most significant manufacturing bases anywhere in the south. To lose it would also have a big national impact.

“It would leave an irreplaceable hole in the economy of south Hampshire. We need Government ministers to be getting a grip, not wringing their hands.”

A decision on the future of the shipyard is likely to be made by the end of the year.

Defence giant BAE is considering closing one of its major shipyards, with Portsmouth widely thought to be most at risk.

The end of shipbuilding at the historic dockyard would have a devastating effect on the wider Solent economy, costing nearly 4,000 jobs in a worst case scenario, according to a recent study commissioned by Solent Local Enterprise Partnership.

Many workers transferred with shipbuilder Vosper Thornycroft when it moved from Southampton to Portsmouth ten years ago and still travel to work along the coast.

The future of its three major bases – one at Portsmouth and two in Glasgow, at Govan and Scotstoun – has been under threat after BAE launched a review of its maritime operations at the start of the year.

BAE said it was in contact with the Ministry of Defence as it reviews its shipbuilding future.

The group employs about 3,500 staff at its Glasgow shipyards and nearly 5,000 at Portsmouth. BAE has been coming under pressure from Government spending cuts and it is feared there will not be enough work to keep all three sites profitable.

It comes after Southampton was rocked by the imminent closure of the Ford plant at Swaythling, with the loss of 500 jobs plus many more in the supply chain.

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11:30am Tue 27 Nov 12

Over the Edge says...

Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat.

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

11:33am Tue 27 Nov 12

The Wickham Man says...

Yet again we see British companies totally incapable of retaining capital assets through lean times, so next time a ship needs building it will be done in France. Or Germany. Or Italy. Or Poland. Or anywhere where they actually hang on to things rather than dismantle them.
We had a useful big dry dock in Southampton once but because it wasn't in use all the time some bright spark decided that if they just take the dockgate off they could use it as conventional quayside all the time. result? Southampton is a major port with no ship repair facility any more so ship repairs are all done elsewhere, and in the long term ships will start calling there instead. And the former dry dock is now just a quayside with a heap of scrap metal waiting for collection. Total utter waste, caused by inept regulation of the city.
Yet again we see British companies totally incapable of retaining capital assets through lean times, so next time a ship needs building it will be done in France. Or Germany. Or Italy. Or Poland. Or anywhere where they actually hang on to things rather than dismantle them. We had a useful big dry dock in Southampton once but because it wasn't in use all the time some bright spark decided that if they just take the dockgate off they could use it as conventional quayside all the time. result? Southampton is a major port with no ship repair facility any more so ship repairs are all done elsewhere, and in the long term ships will start calling there instead. And the former dry dock is now just a quayside with a heap of scrap metal waiting for collection. Total utter waste, caused by inept regulation of the city. The Wickham Man
  • Score: 0

11:50am Tue 27 Nov 12

georgetheseventh says...

Over the Edge wrote:
Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat.

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
So now Hampton is a friend of Pompi....stop moaning..the south has enough job prospects to soak up these minor closures and plenty more jobs in the pipe line no-matter which G/ment is in power by 2015...the north and Scotland cannot absorb more job losses.
[quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy[/p][/quote]So now Hampton is a friend of Pompi....stop moaning..the south has enough job prospects to soak up these minor closures and plenty more jobs in the pipe line no-matter which G/ment is in power by 2015...the north and Scotland cannot absorb more job losses. georgetheseventh
  • Score: 0

11:57am Tue 27 Nov 12

ohec says...

Over the Edge wrote:
Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat.

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
Thats a very short sighted view and a very f**k you jack im all right one, anybody would think Portsmouth was miles away instead of a short hop along the motorway, i do not understand this Southampton vs Portsmouth attitude we should all think in terms of the Solent region. Southampton or Portsmouth it doesn't matter its still peoples jobs and livelihoods so i think your comment is totally out of order, you would be the first to complain if some of those Portsmouth workers decided to take that short hop along the motorway for jobs in Southampton.
[quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy[/p][/quote]Thats a very short sighted view and a very f**k you jack im all right one, anybody would think Portsmouth was miles away instead of a short hop along the motorway, i do not understand this Southampton vs Portsmouth attitude we should all think in terms of the Solent region. Southampton or Portsmouth it doesn't matter its still peoples jobs and livelihoods so i think your comment is totally out of order, you would be the first to complain if some of those Portsmouth workers decided to take that short hop along the motorway for jobs in Southampton. ohec
  • Score: 0

12:50pm Tue 27 Nov 12

The Wickham Man says...

Over the Edge wrote:
Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat.

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
Spoken like a true t055er.
[quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy[/p][/quote]Spoken like a true t055er. The Wickham Man
  • Score: 0

12:53pm Tue 27 Nov 12

derek james says...

when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe
when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe derek james
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Ford Prefect says...

So if BAe close Portsmouth and keep the two Scottish yards open, what happens if the Scots vote for independence? Are our future military ships to be built in a foreign country?

I'm generally in favour of cuts in military spending (which is still an obscene proportion of our GDP). I'd rather see Trident abandoned, personally. But it is sad to see skilled workers thrown on the scrap heap. If only we'd continued to make merchant ships here. They seem to be able to do so profitably in Italy and Germany.
So if BAe close Portsmouth and keep the two Scottish yards open, what happens if the Scots vote for independence? Are our future military ships to be built in a foreign country? I'm generally in favour of cuts in military spending (which is still an obscene proportion of our GDP). I'd rather see Trident abandoned, personally. But it is sad to see skilled workers thrown on the scrap heap. If only we'd continued to make merchant ships here. They seem to be able to do so profitably in Italy and Germany. Ford Prefect
  • Score: 0

2:05pm Tue 27 Nov 12

southy says...

derek james wrote:
when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe
Your not kidding it will, its design to take the longest container ships in the world, and the near future of ships that will be even longer. Trouble with our Container port it was built to high up a river to be able to take the longest ships, and ships in the future are going to be longer and wider.
[quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe[/p][/quote]Your not kidding it will, its design to take the longest container ships in the world, and the near future of ships that will be even longer. Trouble with our Container port it was built to high up a river to be able to take the longest ships, and ships in the future are going to be longer and wider. southy
  • Score: 0

2:12pm Tue 27 Nov 12

sass says...

georgetheseventh wrote:
Over the Edge wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
So now Hampton is a friend of Pompi....stop moaning..the south has enough job prospects to soak up these minor closures and plenty more jobs in the pipe line no-matter which G/ment is in power by 2015...the north and Scotland cannot absorb more job losses.
This country is washed up and will never recover to former levels. There is an entire generation of young adults who will never amount to anything. Even the new Canadian Bank of England Govenor will not save us.

Last one to leave please turn out the lights!
[quote][p][bold]georgetheseventh[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy[/p][/quote]So now Hampton is a friend of Pompi....stop moaning..the south has enough job prospects to soak up these minor closures and plenty more jobs in the pipe line no-matter which G/ment is in power by 2015...the north and Scotland cannot absorb more job losses.[/p][/quote]This country is washed up and will never recover to former levels. There is an entire generation of young adults who will never amount to anything. Even the new Canadian Bank of England Govenor will not save us. Last one to leave please turn out the lights! sass
  • Score: 0

2:19pm Tue 27 Nov 12

The Wickham Man says...

southy wrote:
derek james wrote:
when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe
Your not kidding it will, its design to take the longest container ships in the world, and the near future of ships that will be even longer. Trouble with our Container port it was built to high up a river to be able to take the longest ships, and ships in the future are going to be longer and wider.
If you go look at a map properly before posting you'll see that Thames Gateway is at least as far up the Thames from the "sea" as SCT is from the "sea" And because the largest post panamax ships are sailing across oceans they have to pass Southampton on the way to London Gateway so they can save half a day's journey time each way - a day represents a lot of money on these ships. The truth is that London Gateway is more in competition with Felixstowe and Thamesport than SCT because Felixstowe and Thamesport are owned by Hutchison Whampoa whereas Gateway has the same owner - DPW - as SCT.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe[/p][/quote]Your not kidding it will, its design to take the longest container ships in the world, and the near future of ships that will be even longer. Trouble with our Container port it was built to high up a river to be able to take the longest ships, and ships in the future are going to be longer and wider.[/p][/quote]If you go look at a map properly before posting you'll see that Thames Gateway is at least as far up the Thames from the "sea" as SCT is from the "sea" And because the largest post panamax ships are sailing across oceans they have to pass Southampton on the way to London Gateway so they can save half a day's journey time each way - a day represents a lot of money on these ships. The truth is that London Gateway is more in competition with Felixstowe and Thamesport than SCT because Felixstowe and Thamesport are owned by Hutchison Whampoa whereas Gateway has the same owner - DPW - as SCT. The Wickham Man
  • Score: 0

2:53pm Tue 27 Nov 12

derek james says...

The Wickham Man wrote:
southy wrote:
derek james wrote:
when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe
Your not kidding it will, its design to take the longest container ships in the world, and the near future of ships that will be even longer. Trouble with our Container port it was built to high up a river to be able to take the longest ships, and ships in the future are going to be longer and wider.
If you go look at a map properly before posting you'll see that Thames Gateway is at least as far up the Thames from the "sea" as SCT is from the "sea" And because the largest post panamax ships are sailing across oceans they have to pass Southampton on the way to London Gateway so they can save half a day's journey time each way - a day represents a lot of money on these ships. The truth is that London Gateway is more in competition with Felixstowe and Thamesport than SCT because Felixstowe and Thamesport are owned by Hutchison Whampoa whereas Gateway has the same owner - DPW - as SCT.
lets hope you're right they're not spending all that money for no reason
[quote][p][bold]The Wickham Man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe[/p][/quote]Your not kidding it will, its design to take the longest container ships in the world, and the near future of ships that will be even longer. Trouble with our Container port it was built to high up a river to be able to take the longest ships, and ships in the future are going to be longer and wider.[/p][/quote]If you go look at a map properly before posting you'll see that Thames Gateway is at least as far up the Thames from the "sea" as SCT is from the "sea" And because the largest post panamax ships are sailing across oceans they have to pass Southampton on the way to London Gateway so they can save half a day's journey time each way - a day represents a lot of money on these ships. The truth is that London Gateway is more in competition with Felixstowe and Thamesport than SCT because Felixstowe and Thamesport are owned by Hutchison Whampoa whereas Gateway has the same owner - DPW - as SCT.[/p][/quote]lets hope you're right they're not spending all that money for no reason derek james
  • Score: 0

3:56pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Torchie1 says...

Ford Prefect wrote:
So if BAe close Portsmouth and keep the two Scottish yards open, what happens if the Scots vote for independence? Are our future military ships to be built in a foreign country?

I'm generally in favour of cuts in military spending (which is still an obscene proportion of our GDP). I'd rather see Trident abandoned, personally. But it is sad to see skilled workers thrown on the scrap heap. If only we'd continued to make merchant ships here. They seem to be able to do so profitably in Italy and Germany.
" If only we'd continued to make merchant ships here.". Unfortunately that ship sailed fifty years ago as the other nations of the world overtook a strike prone Britain and began selling to the country that used to rule over and sell to half the world.
[quote][p][bold]Ford Prefect[/bold] wrote: So if BAe close Portsmouth and keep the two Scottish yards open, what happens if the Scots vote for independence? Are our future military ships to be built in a foreign country? I'm generally in favour of cuts in military spending (which is still an obscene proportion of our GDP). I'd rather see Trident abandoned, personally. But it is sad to see skilled workers thrown on the scrap heap. If only we'd continued to make merchant ships here. They seem to be able to do so profitably in Italy and Germany.[/p][/quote]" If only we'd continued to make merchant ships here.". Unfortunately that ship sailed fifty years ago as the other nations of the world overtook a strike prone Britain and began selling to the country that used to rule over and sell to half the world. Torchie1
  • Score: 0

4:32pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Linesman says...

Over the Edge wrote:
Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat.

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions.

Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce.
[quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy[/p][/quote]Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions. Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce. Linesman
  • Score: 0

5:28pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Over the Edge says...

Linesman wrote:
Over the Edge wrote:
Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat.

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions.

Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce.
Read my post again,,,,I didn't say the closure wouldn't affect Southampton's economy I said

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy,,,,example..
.. people living and working in Portsmouth are more likely to spend their money in Portsmouth and not in Southampton
[quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy[/p][/quote]Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions. Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce.[/p][/quote]Read my post again,,,,I didn't say the closure wouldn't affect Southampton's economy I said I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy,,,,example.. .. people living and working in Portsmouth are more likely to spend their money in Portsmouth and not in Southampton Over the Edge
  • Score: 0

6:03pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Linesman says...

Over the Edge wrote:
Linesman wrote:
Over the Edge wrote:
Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat.

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions.

Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce.
Read my post again,,,,I didn't say the closure wouldn't affect Southampton's economy I said

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy,,,,example..

.. people living and working in Portsmouth are more likely to spend their money in Portsmouth and not in Southampton
My apologies.

I guess that my comment could be taken as applying to myself.
[quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy[/p][/quote]Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions. Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce.[/p][/quote]Read my post again,,,,I didn't say the closure wouldn't affect Southampton's economy I said I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy,,,,example.. .. people living and working in Portsmouth are more likely to spend their money in Portsmouth and not in Southampton[/p][/quote]My apologies. I guess that my comment could be taken as applying to myself. Linesman
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Linesman says...

Over the Edge wrote:
Linesman wrote:
Over the Edge wrote:
Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat.

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions.

Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce.
Read my post again,,,,I didn't say the closure wouldn't affect Southampton's economy I said

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy,,,,example..

.. people living and working in Portsmouth are more likely to spend their money in Portsmouth and not in Southampton
My apologies.

I guess that my comment could be taken as applying to myself.
[quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy[/p][/quote]Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions. Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce.[/p][/quote]Read my post again,,,,I didn't say the closure wouldn't affect Southampton's economy I said I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy,,,,example.. .. people living and working in Portsmouth are more likely to spend their money in Portsmouth and not in Southampton[/p][/quote]My apologies. I guess that my comment could be taken as applying to myself. Linesman
  • Score: 0

6:04pm Tue 27 Nov 12

Linesman says...

Over the Edge wrote:
Linesman wrote:
Over the Edge wrote:
Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat.

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy
Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions.

Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce.
Read my post again,,,,I didn't say the closure wouldn't affect Southampton's economy I said

I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy,,,,example..

.. people living and working in Portsmouth are more likely to spend their money in Portsmouth and not in Southampton
My apologies.

I guess that my comment could be taken as applying to myself.
[quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Linesman[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Over the Edge[/bold] wrote: Another body blow for the people of Southampton, gutted for those workers under threat. I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy[/p][/quote]Sometimes it is better to say nothing and let people think you are stupid, instead of saying something that confirms their suspicions. Only a stupid person would say that the possible closure by BAE would have little affect on the local Southampton economy becayse there are a great many Southampton residents that form part of BAE's workforce.[/p][/quote]Read my post again,,,,I didn't say the closure wouldn't affect Southampton's economy I said I'm not that concerned about the workers from Pompey as that will have little affect on the local Southampton economy,,,,example.. .. people living and working in Portsmouth are more likely to spend their money in Portsmouth and not in Southampton[/p][/quote]My apologies. I guess that my comment could be taken as applying to myself. Linesman
  • Score: 0

11:13pm Tue 27 Nov 12

phil maccavity says...

southy wrote:
derek james wrote:
when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe
Your not kidding it will, its design to take the longest container ships in the world, and the near future of ships that will be even longer. Trouble with our Container port it was built to high up a river to be able to take the longest ships, and ships in the future are going to be longer and wider.
So, Southy, does this mean that the world's largest container vessel at 16,000 container capacity, 396m loa, 54m beam and 16m draft, is too big for Southampton and the port is unable to compete?
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]derek james[/bold] wrote: when the london gateway container port opens it will have a big impact on southampton and no doubt felixstowe[/p][/quote]Your not kidding it will, its design to take the longest container ships in the world, and the near future of ships that will be even longer. Trouble with our Container port it was built to high up a river to be able to take the longest ships, and ships in the future are going to be longer and wider.[/p][/quote]So, Southy, does this mean that the world's largest container vessel at 16,000 container capacity, 396m loa, 54m beam and 16m draft, is too big for Southampton and the port is unable to compete? phil maccavity
  • Score: 0

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