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Barons Quay debate overshadowed by Tata news
JOBS have to be created and preserved in the light of 220 redundancies announced by a major Northwich company, according to council bosses discussing the future of the town.
Debate about Barons Quay was overshadowed by news that Tata Chemicals Europe is closing its soda ash factory in Winnington, reported in last week’s Guardian.
Cheshire West and Chester Council’s executive group met on Wednesday to discuss invoking a compusory purchase order (CPO) so it can acquire the land and rights it needs to regenerate the area.
Clr Paul Dolan, a visiting councillor at the meeting, said: “The sad news of a potential loss of 220 jobs at Tata reminds us that as well as wanting to create jobs we also need to try to preserve jobs.
“I hope that during the course of the 45-day consultation period we have the opportunity to speak to Tata and look at ways they can mitigate the loss of those jobs.”
Clr Mark Stocks, executive member for education and children, said: “What we need to try to do is ensure that whatever happens we try to maintain some manufacturing jobs in Northwich.
“That’s particularly important having aspired to Barons Quay, which is predominantly retail and recreation, it’s important Northwich has some manufacturing capacity and that’s something as a council we need to look for going forward.”
Clr Mike Jones, CWAC leader, said he has spoken to bosses at Tata and offered support and help for individuals affected.
The executive group approved the resolution to grant the CPO across the town centre.
Clr Stuart Parker, executive member for culture and recreation, said: “The council already owns 93 per cent of the actual land which still leaves seven per cent.
“It’s so essential we do get the CPO to be able to acquire the seven per cent.
“I’m fully supportive of the scheme and can’t wait for it to take place.”
The overall scheme includes plans for a multiplex cinema, supermarket, shops, bars, restaurants, petrol station, hotel and housing.
The first phase is expected to be complete by January 2017.
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