Independent councillor calls for Fenland Hall bosses and MP to try and rescue 300 jobs under threat in Wisbech

Councillor Virginia Bucknor

Councillor Virginia Bucknor - Credit: Archant

A WISBECH councillor has called for Fenland District Council and MP Steve Barclay to intervene to find out why Moy Park is axing jobs locally and switching to Grantham.

Councillor Virginia Bucknor wrote this week to Mr Barclay and to Fenland Council chief executive Paul Medd calling for them to intervene.

“It could be worthwhile engaging with Moy Park,” said Cllr Bucknor. “For example why is it so much more beneficial to move their poultry works to Grantham? What benefits does Grantham have that we don’t?”

Cllr Bucknor, an independent, said: “Over 300 people could possibly lose their jobs which Wisbech can hardly ill afford.”

What had surprised her was that she met with company chiefs at the end of last year and at that time they were proposing to expand locally. Yesterday she received an email from Mr Medd telling her he would brief officers in the council’s economic development team to see if a meeting with Moy Park could be arranged.

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He was hoping this might be able to “influence their current thinking” in terms of relocation and he also promised to contact council leader Alan Melton and his deputy Chris Seaton to get their input.

Cllr Bucknor said she would be happy to arrange a meeting with Moy Park herself but hoped others might become involved.

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Today Mr Barclay today issued a statement calling for Fenland Council “to support workers facing job cuts at Moy Park.”

He said: “There’s a real risk that jobs and skilled workers will be drained out of the local area, and it is not enough to rely on the local job centre plus to reposition those who are likely to be made redundant.”

Mr Barclay added: “We need to recognize 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. Workers at Moy Park deserve clear answers from bosses over their prospects.”

He had received a number of letters from constituents and Moy Park employees voicing concerns about the planned job cuts and the practicalities of job relocation from one site to another.

“It remains unclear how many posts will be axed, and employees are awaiting confirmation of the next stage in the consultation process,” he said.

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