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Liberal Democrats respond to report that Chatham Docks closure would be catastrophic for Medway

July 14, 2020 12:45 PM
By Medway Liberal Democrats - Alan Wells
aerial shot chatham docks

Local Liberal Democrats are alarmed by the findings of a report produced by the University of Kent, that states that 'Chatham Docks is the largest single source of private sector revenue in Chatham' and that 'the loss of the port would cost £258 million to the local economy and result in 2,000 job losses both directly employed and in the supply chain.'

The announcement that owners Peel L & P are to close the Docks by 2025 would be a body blow for Medway. The land being earmarked for new housing, leisure and retail under the Council's Strategic Land Availability Assessment (SLAA).

Vivienne Parker, Chair of Medway Liberal Democrats said "Chatham has already lost its naval dockyard and now faces the loss of its commercial Docks. Chatham has been a commercial port for centuries, and we believe that the Docks are a vital asset for Medway. The Docks are not only operating as a thriving viable enterprise for ship repair but also home to other industry's such as port-related waste and recycling operations, cement imports, steel fabricators and a national logistics company.

In these challenging times as Medway recovers from the economic turmoil created by the global coronavirus pandemic, the knock on effect of the closure would be disastrous and short sighted, it is vital to Medway's economy that Chatham Dock remains open as a commercial port."

With Medway Council meeting to discuss the draft Local Plan on August 4, Liberal Democrats are demanding a Plan that will support the local economy, create sustainable jobs, and have an economic vision for the whole of Medway.

The Council has to recognise that more than ever, that our towns need economic vitality and the departure of the Docks will leave a deep hole, risking a massive number of jobs and loss of future apprenticeship schemes, which would take years to recover from. The impact and ripple effect of the closure would be catastrophic.

The Docks give continuity of employment as well as a sustainable location for industrial activity, which deserves protecting for future generations, and that's worth fighting for.

ENDS

Liberal Democrats at Chatham Docks meeting Phil Taylor (CEO of ArcelorMittal)

Chatham Docks - David Naghi, Phil Taylor, Alan Bullion & Grahan Colley David Naghi, Phil Taylor (CEO - ArcelorMittal), Alan Bullion, Graham Colley
Chatham Docks - Phil Taylor & John Castle Phil Taylor (CEO ArcelorMittal) and John Castle (River Ward Lib Dems spokesperson)
Chatham Docks - Group Photo Graham Colley, Graham Colley, Vivienne Parker, Phil Taylor (CEO ArcelorMittal), John Castle, David Naghi, Martin Rose