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'We don't need your services'
THE manager of Northwich’s shopping precinct has become the first casualty of the receivers.
Paul Bosman managed Weaver Square Shopping Centre for more than 18 years but found out on Monday that he had been dismissed from the centre without notice.
Paul, who lives in Winsford with his wife and their eight-year-old son, said: “It’s 18 years of my life that has just disappeared.
“I’ve loved working here, it’s been home from home.
“I’ve come to work with a smile on my face and gone home with a smile – it’s not just a place of work, it’s been a family.”
In last week’s Guardian we revealed that Nationwide Building Society called in recievers Colliers International to take over the management of the centre from owners, Weaver Square Investments Ltd.
Colliers’ letter to Paul, whose job also included organising Christmas activities, fairs and markets in the square, stated they are not adopting his contract of employment.
The receivers added: “We suggest that you liaise directly with the directors of your employer regarding your employment and/or your activities at the properties.
“However, for the avoidance of doubt, the receivers have no requirement for your services.”
This means Paul is still technically employed by Weaver Square Investments but is a centre manager with no centre to manage.
“It’s a very nice way to find out your services are no longer required, it’s not even a thank you,” he said.
The letter was sent to an address in Greenbank where Paul has not lived since September 2000 and Paul said he only discovered its existence when he was visited by a member of staff from Colliers who had it in email form on his mobile phone.
Lynda Hill, founder of The Joshua Tree children’s charity, said Paul helped them set up an office in the centre in 2008, bringing them a kettle and mugs and making Lynda a desk from leftover wood.
She said: “When I heard that Paul no longer has a job I was really shocked and felt very sad for him.
“He has been running the centre for many years now and I can't believe all those years service have amounted to nothing.”
She added: “We all wish him well from The Joshua Tree and want to thank him for everything he has done for us over the years to make our stay in the centre a very positive one. He will be greatly missed.”
What's being said about Weaver Square going into receivership:
- Graham Evans, Weaver Vale MP, said: “That part of the high street has been in dire need of some investment.
“I sympathise with those affected but think it’s an opportunity for Cheshire West and Chester Council to see what positives can come out of the situation and see how they can develop that part of town.”
- Clr George Mainwaring, mayor of Northwich, said: “This happening in Northwich is almost a modern disease.
“I really do empathise will all those traders and people affected because I’ve been through that in industry when we were closing down ICI.
“They are concerned about what’s going to happen to them, they’re hard working people and this is the last thing they need.”