I write to advise that Andy Richards has indicated his intention to retire from the service of the union, and will be leaving us as of August 3rd. Andy has, as our Wales Regional Secretary since the formation of Unite (and longer in our T&G predecessor), played a central part in the creation of our union. He has been the voice of Unite in Wales and, just as strongly, the voice of Wales within Unite. He has been critical to building our industrial and political influence in Wales, and in leading “Team Wales” with aplomb. We shall all miss his contribution to our counsels and our activities, although I hope to utilise his energies in working to continue to secure the future of his own factory, Ford Bridgend, going forward. Doubtless there will be an occasion later in the year to pay a more detailed tribute, but for now I wish Andy the very best in his retirement.
I am transferring Peter Hughes to succeed Andy as Regional Secretary in Wales. Peter has a deep background in our union in Wales, and indeed worked as Deputy Regional Secretary under Andy for several years prior to his transfer to the South-West. I will advise shortly who will be Acting Regional Secretary in the South-West.
I know you will all join me in wishing Peter the best in his new responsibilities and offer him all possible support and assistance.