First Minister Of Wales Officially Opens ‘Joint Vehicle Maintenance Facility’

The First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones, is officially opening a new workshop in Bridgend called Ty Richard Thomas during a ceremony to be held this Friday 9th October 2015.

South Wales Police and Bridgend County Borough Council have come together to create the new state-of-the-art Joint Vehicle Maintenance Facility, which is the first collaboration of its kind in Wales and have named it after a police sergeant who was killed in World War 1.

As part of the South Wales Police’s Estates Review to save money, South Wales Police purchased and upgraded the building with £2 million capital funding. Bridgend County Borough Council will share revenue costs over the duration of the agreement.

The joint police and council Facility will reduce costs for both organisations, provide fit-for-purpose accommodation and provide an enhanced service to its customers.

The new purpose-built Facility has equipment and facilities comparable to any commercial workshop and is located in Brackla Industrial Estate in Bridgend.

The new Facility consists of staff from both organisations. It will service, repair and MOT all police vehicles including police cars, horseboxes, ARVs, motorbikes, courier vans, pool cars and will service, repair and MOT all council vehicles which includes snow ploughs, gritters, tippers, ride-on mowers, maintenance vans and drain-cleaning vehicles. It will also service and MOT the council’s customers, which are taxis. This concludes a total of:

• 595 vehicles
• 35 vehicles over 3.5Ton
• 22 Motorcycles
• 110 items of plant
• 28 MOTs per week
• In 2013, police vehicles drove 11 million miles per year, which is 8.5 times around the world per week

First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones said,

“When we’re all facing tough financial decisions and pressure on our budgets it’s great to see innovative and collaborative working that will not only generate savings, but will also improve efficiency and services for customers. I look forward to opening the new Facility and wish them every success in the future.”

South Wales Police’s Police & Crime Commissioner Alun Michael, said,

“The facilities at the previous South Wales Police Depot on the Bridgend Headquarters site and the previous Bridgend Council Depot at Waterton are at best described as outdated and in need of replacement. The Joint Vehicle Maintenance Facility was established to improve the facilities for both organisations and to provide a single cost-effective integrated operation.”

The newly established Joint Vehicle Maintenance Facility will:

• Reduce the cost of fleet vehicle maintenance for each organisation
• Improve fleet maintenance facilities and equipment
• Improve customer service
• Achieve the Welsh Government’s agenda for shared services
• Create the potential for future expansion and income generation
• Provide opportunities for staff development
• Provide opportunities for staff development
Councillor Hywel Williams, Bridgend County Borough Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities, said,

“By sharing our resources with the police, the council is committing to meeting the Welsh Government agenda for shared services, while reducing the costs of fleet maintenance and having better facilities and equipment at our disposal.

“Working in partnership will enable us to save money, work more efficiently and, ultimately, provide a better quality service for our communities. The council already has an excellent working relationship with South Wales Police and we are looking forward to developing that even further through this mutually beneficial move.”

Chief Constable Peter Vaughan of South Wales Police said,

“To deliver the most cost effective Joint Vehicle Maintenance Facility, we purchased an industrial unit at Newlands Avenue, Brackla Industrial Estate, Bridgend, and designed and refurbished it according to both organisations’ needs.

“The building, formerly the Fiskars Distribution Centre has been named ‘Ty Richard Thomas’ in memory of Sergeant Richard (“Dick”) Thomas, a Glamorgan Police Sergeant who sadly lost his life in World War 1, on the 7th of July 1916 at Mametz Wood on the Somme.

“Sgt Thomas was a Company Sergeant Major in the 16th Battalion, Welsh Regiment from Bridgend who played rugby for Bridgend, Mountain Ash and at international level for Wales. He was also a notable amateur boxer.”

“Sgt Thomas was killed in action at the age of 36, being one of the first casualties leading the company into battle, leaving behind a widow and two children. The Glamorgan Gazette on Friday 21st 1916 describing Sgt Thomas as a man of “genial disposition popular not only as a football player, but as a police officer in every place he had been stationed.”

Mr Richard Thomas, the grandson of the fallen Sgt Richard Thomas said,

“I am very pleased and grateful for the honour you are giving to my Grandfather, on behalf of my father David Thomas (who lost his Dad when only 18 months old) and the rest of his surviving family.

“We, as a family, will continue to try and emulate his good and honourable example into the future.”
As well as naming the building ‘Ty Richard Thomas’, the reception area will have a permanent display telling the story of Richard Thomas, the Battle for Mametz Wood and of other Glamorgan Police officers who lost their lives there.

The building will be officially opened by the First Minister of Wales, Carwyn Jones and also in attendance will be South Wales Police Chief Constable Peter Vaughan, the Police and Crime Commissioner Mr Alun Michael, Councillor Mel Nott, Leader of Bridgend County Borough Council as well as members of the fallen Sgt Richard Thomas’ family.

Find out more about the Joint Vehicle Maintenance Facility in this short video:


Spread the love
Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *