Council leader urges Prime Minister to support Ellesmere Port car plant
9 March 2021The Leader of Cheshire West and Chester Council has written to Prime Minister Boris Johnson, asking him to commit the support needed to secure the future of the Vauxhall plant in Ellesmere Port.
In her letter, Council leader Cllr Louse Gittins describes the decision facing the vehicle manufacturing plant as: “One of the most crucial decisions for the future of automotive manufacturing and the opportunity for greener vehicle production in this region of the UK.”
And Cllr Gittins calls on the Prime Minister to: “Provide full and absolute commitment to the future of the Ellesmere Port plant and its place in supporting sustainable and competitive automotive manufacture in the UK.”
Discussions have been taking place over the past few weeks with the site’s new owners Stellantis, about the future of the site, which employs more than 800 people.
The plant’s future has been cast into doubt due the need for modernisation and the move towards the end of the production of petrol and diesel driven cars by 2030.
Officers and members from Cheshire West and Chester Council have been working alongside other agencies to offer an extensive package of support for the site.
In her letter, Cllr Gittins states: “Local partners, including ourselves and Cheshire and Warrington LEP, have worked extensively over the last few weeks with the local management team of the company and your officials to pull together the strongest offer of local support possible alongside Government investment. I have written to Rishi Sunak and Kwasi Kwarteng twice in the last few weeks, and I look forward to their replies.”
Cllr Gittins adds: “Your decision to do what is necessary to conclude this deal could be a cornerstone in the revival of an industrial town, proud of its past and looking to a new future of green jobs in low carbon industries.”
Cllr Gittins goes on the say: “The extensive package we have put together would not only protect the Vauxhall plant, which is synonymous with Ellesmere Port, but it would also enhance the Vauxhall brand through opportunities to create vehicles of the future using energy sources and technology of the future. By transitioning to electric vehicles and net zero carbon manufacturing, this evolution of Vauxhall’s business model would also demonstrate real commitment to our important environmental ambitions, a priority both of our Council and of Government.”
In urging the PM to intervene, Cllr Gittins concludes: “The considerable number of Vauxhall employees, along with our entire population, have shown incredible commitment and fortitude in playing their part to fight this terrible virus. The level of compliance with ongoing national Covid regulations has been remarkable, and it would be a tragedy if, alongside the terrible impact of the pandemic on our local communities, they faced the further significant challenges that would arise from the loss of hundreds of jobs, along with many hundreds more across the supply chain.”