Norwich South MP Clive Lewis hits out at government over Colman’s Mustard factory closure | Politics

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: Doug Faulkner

Norwich South MP Clive Lewis. Picture: Doug Faulkner


Norwich South MP Clive Lewis says he’ll search solutions in Parliament over why the government did not hold Britvic and Unilever in Norwich.

It was announced today that Unilever will close the Colman’s Mustard factory in Norwich in 2019, with production moving to Burton-upon-Trent and Germany.

Unilever, which owns the power, stated all 113 jobs at the Carrow Works website can be affected and 45 individuals may very well be made redundant.

While a part of the manufacturing will transfer out of the county, the packing of mustard powder and the milling of the seed will stay within the Norwich space.

It follows the announcement by Britvic, which shares the positioning close to Trowse, that its factory can be closing, with the lack of round 240 jobs.

That plant, which produces Robinsons and Fruit Shoot, is because of shut subsequent 12 months, with manufacturing switching to Rugby, east London and Leeds.

Business secretary Greg Clark had stated the government was in “close contact” with the bosses of the factories and had promised to talk to bosses at Unilever to attempt to persuade them to maintain their operations in Norfolk.

But Mr Lewis, Labour MP, stated it was a “truly awful festive period” for the employees who will lose their jobs.

And he hit out at the government’s efforts. He stated: “Greg Clark didn’t even have the decency to simply accept my invitation to come back to Norwich and meet with us all right here to discover a technique to hold the roles in our metropolis.

“This government has failed to know the teachings of the previous 35 years that government can’t be a spectator with regards to business.

“No one is asking Greg Clark to ’choose winners’ – merely to assist key sectors – just like the foods and drinks manufacturing business – the way in which the Scottish government has with strategic funding in new plant and equipment.

“The actuality is that tons of of employees in Norwich have been solid adrift by a government and financial system that has let all of us down once more.

“I applaud the valiant efforts of the Unions, Norwich City Council, Norfolk County Council and the Local Enterprise Partnership in looking for an a viable answer to maintain these jobs in Norwich. I can’t say the identical for this government. A government that has sat on its arms these previous few months.

“I’ll be looking for solutions but once more in Parliament subsequent week on why this government has failed Norwich and its Britvic/Unilever employees and what it plans to now do assist these affected.

“It didn’t have to turn out like this and it’s not an inevitability that we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.”

Norwich North MP Chloe Smith, who stated she was “fundamentally disappointed” that neither Unilever or Britvic had chosen to maintain the majority of their operations in Norwich, stated: “Senior figures in government have stood with us all through the previous couple of months to attempt to hold these historic manufacturers in Norwich.

“The grassroots marketing campaign has been a credit score to the town and that has its reward in that the Colman’s model will stay in Norwich and the availability chain might stay in place.

“My first thoughts are with those constituents who may lose their jobs; my focus for the longer term will be that major employers should continue to see Norwich as a great place to be.”

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