Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 11:00 am on 1st April 2008.

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Photo of Mike Hall Mike Hall Labour, Weaver Vale 11:00 am, 1st April 2008

The hon. Gentleman would do better to direct that question to the Minister. In case this was not clear, I point out that the STFC is calling for 180 job losses at Daresbury relating directly to the running of the synchrotron radiation source, which will end in September to December of this year. When the synchrotron radiation source goes, those jobs will be surplus to requirements. I am pressing the Minister to try to ensure that there are no compulsory redundancies and that we retain as many scientists as possible at Daresbury, so that there is a critical mass of scientists able to deliver the new light source when decisions on that are made and when the decision for it to be at Daresbury is made. That is the point.

I am asking for three things. We need a fourth generation light source scientist heading the new light source review with the two scientists from Oxford and Imperial college. We need a commitment that ALICE—that wonderful facility—will be fully funded and fully exploited. It is a unique research facility and it would be a travesty if British science was not allowed to exploit it to the full. We also need a commitment about retaining staff at Daresbury laboratory and a voice on the STFC advocating for Daresbury.

For the record, the Minister has been generous in the time that he has given to colleagues from the north-west. Those Members are represented here today: my hon. Friends the Members for Warrington, South (Helen Southworth), for Warrington, North (Helen Jones), for Liverpool, Riverside (Mrs. Ellman) and for Eccles (Ian Stewart). My hon. Friend Andrew Miller has also been involved in lobbying the Minister and the Secretary of State. We have also lobbied the Prime Minister. We have been fully supported by my close and hon. Friend Derek Twigg. We are committed to ensuring that Daresbury laboratory or Daresbury science and innovation campus has a future, both as a pure research facility and as an innovation campus. Today, we seek a positive message from the Government that they share that vision and will protect the laboratory and ensure that it delivers another 40 years of world-leading scientific research.