Ian Austin MP visits Lathams Ltd in Dudley
Ian Austin, Member of Parliament for Dudley North, visited Lathams' trading office in Dudley last week. The MP was welcomed by Chris Sutton, Chairman and Managing Director of Lathams Ltd and was shown round the site at Yorks Park on Blowers Green Road in Dudley.
Lathams Ltd is a leading importer and distributor of wood panel products, joinery quality softwood and hardwood and hardwood flooring. The award-winning company is the trading subsidiary of James Latham PLC and has 11 trading offices operating from 10 sites throughout the UK. Lathams employs 21 staff and stocks up to 22,000 cubic feet of timber products at the Dudley site.
This was the MP’s first visit to a timber business and he was impressed by the scale of the business. “I have driven past the site thousands of times but you don’t realise until you enter the trading office what’s in there”, said Ian Austin MP. “I was amazed by the volume and range of high quality timber which is responsibly sourced from all over the world.”
Ian Austin MP has been Member of Parliament for Dudley North since 2005. He served as Shadow Minister for Culture, Media and Sport and Shadow Minister for Work and Pensions under Ed Miliband. In 2015 Ian Austin joined the Education Select Committee and was appointed as chair of the Labour Party's Education committee. Ian Austin MP is also a member of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries promoting the use of timber UK wide. The new APPG is supported by the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) and has cross-party support from more than 40 parliamentarians including MPs representing Labour, Conservatives, SNP, Liberal Democrats and Northern Irish parties.
Ian Austin MP added, “I was particularly pleased to hear about Latham’s strong commitment to training. They provide an excellent range of trainee and advanced training courses which will help secure their managers of the future. We’ve been lucky to have a major timber business like Lathams in Dudley for over 15 years and I am keen to continue to support them as much as I can ”, he added.
Chris Sutton, Chairman and Managing Director of Lathams Ltd, said: “We were delighted to receive a visit from our distinguished local MP and I am glad he had the time to speak to some of our staff too. Lathams have always been very committed to looking after our people and securing the highest possible environmental standards through responsibly sourced and sustainable timber from across the globe. We are determined to continue to raise the bar in a way which has seen this family owned company flourish since it was founded in 1757.”