From the South Wales Evening Post
MANAGEMENT at a car parts plant next to a potential Travellers site in Gorseinon say plans for major employment will go ahead regardless.
Five sites across the Swansea area have been shortlisted to potentially house travellers, including Parc Melin Mynach and land opposite which has been earmarked for cemetery use and is next to the former Valeo plant which is now being used by Japanese car parts company Toyoda Gosei.
Two protests have been held at the site in the past seven days by people living nearby who fear Travellers could bring everything from mess and litter to intimidation and theft.
The Evening Post was yesterday contacted by a reader saying he was a worker at the Toyoda Gosei plant regarding fears at the factory of the impact of a Travellers site adjacent to the works.
He said: "Senior management are very concerned and have put the 340 new jobs on hold.
"It is all down to this news which was put in the Post last week.
"It is a huge concern."
Toyoda Gosei is looking to increase its workforce up to 500 employees at the former Valeo site over the next five years.
Business Minister Edwina Hart said the latest round of job creation would be a real boost for the local economy.
The minister said it would create a significant number of well-paid, highly-skilled jobs providing a real boost for the local economy shortly after the company announced its intentions to boost its workforce in Gorseinon.
Gareth Rees, plant manager at Toyoda Gosei in Gorseinon, confirmed the Japanese company running the plant was not happy about the potential of a Travellers' site nearby, but its presence would not affect future employment plans.
The factory in Gorseinon currently employs around 160 people.
Mr Rees said: "For the first stage we have recruited the number that we need. As more projects come in we will take on people as the business grows."
The plant manager also specifically spoke of the potential impact of a travellers site on adjacent land on future employment at the factory.
He said: "It is not an ideal situation but it will have no effect on long-term plans."
Residents living close to the plant held a protest on Sunday against either Parc Melin Mynach or land next to the former Valeo plant being potentially used to house Travellers.
Retired retail worker and grandmother Elaine Halloran has lived in Gorseinon for 60 years and said the impact on the factory could have an impact on the area as a whole.
Mrs Halloran, 60, joined the protesters on Sunday and said: "People are crying out for jobs in the area. A friend of mine works in a cafe which supplies the factory now and again.
"There is a knock-on effect there.
"People that work there (the Toyoda Gosei factory) also spend money in the local shops.
"It could have a knock-on effect to everybody."