THE NEWS about the threat to almost 650 jobs at Avana Bakeries in Rogerstone is a bad news for the employees, the company and for Newport.

The loss of the multi-million-pound Marks and Spencer cake order contract to a firm in Oldham leaves jobs and the site under threat. M&S appear to have just pulled the plug on its contract with Avana Bakeries. The contract took up around 85 per cent of what the Avana bakery produces – something which has left the company in a vulnerable position.

Despite the spin from M&S, this is probably more about squeezing out extra profits than anything else. The contract, won by Avana in July 2002, was warmly welcomed, bringing job security, investment and more jobs after a bad fire at the site in December 2001 which left the bakery under threat of closure.

The Welsh government, local AMs and MPs, Newport City Council and the secretary of state for Wales need to ensure that every opportunity is pursued to allow the company the opportunity to get back on its feet after this unexpected blow.

Jonathan T Clark Allt-yr-yn Heights Newport