The Textile Services Association’ (TSA) is keeping up the pressure on the Government with the latest in a series of open letters to MPs with laundries in their constituencies and personalised letters to senior Cabinet ministers, in an attempt to help imperilled laundry businesses.
The letter was written in an attempt to prompt the Government to give councils the go-ahead to immediately include hospitality laundries within the list of eligible businesses that can apply for council rate relief. TSA warns that unless the Government take responsibility for one of the UK’s oldest industries tens of thousands of workers may be forced onto the job market.
David Stevens wrote: “As the CEO of the TSA, which represents the UK laundry industry and its 28,000 employees, I feel I have let them down. We were promised early on in the pandemic that the industry would be looked after, and I have confidently relayed this message to our membership, believing it to be true. I was wrong. I have sent open letter after open letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Prime Minister, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, the Cabinet Office, HM Treasury (HMT), Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and others, and the TSA has encouraged laundries to write to their local MPs.
“All to no avail.
“Hopefully, many of you will already be aware of our situation. So far, we have received lots of kind offers of support, lots of sympathy and a list of everything that has been done for everyone else but absolutely no action on the issues we have raised. I have made hundreds of phone calls to councils, rate offices, MPs, and cabinet officers, who all agree our circumstances are exceptional. They all understand how essential we are if the hospitality industry is going to bounce back, and it cannot without laundry. However, they all say their hands are tied without clear Government advice.
“We have the support of UK Hospitality, all the major hotel groups, MPs, trade associations and so the list goes on. In fact, nobody disagrees. I believe even the Government agrees. But apathy seems to have set in, they now seem to be focusing on reopening and have ‘moved on’. Laundries are forgotten.
“Well, our industry has not been able to move on. We are still shut, and many are now in desperate financial positions. All we ask is that laundries are included within the list of eligible businesses that can apply for the rate relief. All councils think we should be on the list but until the guidance is made clear they will not help.
“Can somebody in Government take responsibility for one of the UK’s oldest industries? If not, tens of thousands of workers may be forced onto the job market.
“All I am asking is the opportunity to present our case to a decision maker within the Cabinet.
“I honestly do not know what else to do. If you are reading this letter and feel you can support us, please get in touch. One call may be enough to save thousands of jobs.”