Local councillor Virginia Bucknor is calling on Fenland District Council to get behind at risk workers at Wisbech’s Moy Park factory to make the company aware of the effect mass redundancies could have on the town.
Although numbers have not been confirmed, it is believed up to two-thirds of the workforce could be affected in the wake of a £20 million consolidation plan at its Grantham site.
In an email to FDC, Cllr Bucknor said: “Moy Park senior management are coming to Wisbech and meeting with staff and I believe it’s really important to give them a clear message that the council are concerned about the serious impact their decision will have on Wisbech.”
Cllr Bucknor has been left frustrated by the apparent lack of action by the council to this threat to the Wisbech economy, but chief executive Paul Medd confirmed that officers would be seeking a meeting with Moy Park.
She also questioned whether a £1,49 million training grant awarded to Moy Park could not be put to good use at Wisbech.
Local MP Steve Barclay is also backing the fight to keep jobs at the Wisbech factory. Moy Park has started consultation with employees at the site in Mount Pleasant Road, as reported in the Citizen (February 13).
Mr Barclay said: “This is clearly a very difficult and uncertain time for Moy Park employees. We need to offer support during the consultation process to ensure that workers get a fair deal and that Moy Park make good on their assurances to find work for those who are losing their posts.
“I have discussed these concerns with Alan Melton, the leader of Fenland Council, who has given me an assurance that senior council members will be visiting the factory to meet with staff.
“Retaining and creating jobs in Wisbech and the surrounding area is a vital pillar of the 20:20 vision for regenerating Wisbech and creating a buzzing, vibrant business community.
“We need to recognise that job losses will have a negative impact on our local economy and wider community. The Council should take action to assist those who are facing this uncertainty.”
The MP has received a number of letters from constituents and Moy Park employees voicing concerns about job cuts and relocation from one site to another. It has not yet been confirmed how many jobs could be lost.
A spokesperson for Fenland Council said: “We share the widespread concern over the potential loss of jobs at Moy Park. We are currently looking to arrange a meeting with the company as soon as possible to discuss its proposals.”