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Liberal Democrats want to protect Chatham Docks and protect Medway's economy

August 18, 2020 1:58 PM
By Medway Liberal Democrats/Alan Wells

aerial shot chatham docksLiberal Democrats are alarmed by the findings of a recent report produced by the University of Kent, on the economic impact on Medway of the closure of Chatham Docks.

The loss of the of this asset would affect more than 860 jobs and businesses unique not just to Chatham but to Kent. The report stresses the closure will cost Medway's economy £258 million worth of business every year, having a devastating impact on jobs in our towns, stating 'the Docks are the largest private sector single source of revenue in Medway, with existing jobs in the Docks representing a significant local, economic resource.' - Prof. Tim Strangleman, University of Kent

Vivienne Parker, Chair of Medway Liberal Democrats said "Chatham Docks are a vital part of our town's infrastructure, where a wide variety of trades flourish and the Council does not want to go down in history being responsible for destroying businesses and jobs. The Docks, future employment and trades need to be safeguarded for Medway's future generations and closure is effectively economic vandalism by this Conservative administration."

The Docks support 16 apprenticeships which are projected to grow to 30, and provides training opportunities for local colleges with skills and knowledge, which clearly benefits Medway's youth and future local skill base. With investment plans of more than £60 million, this would create a further 200 jobs from the current 860 to in excess of 1000 people in port and manufacturing jobs. Liberal Democrats have visited the site and seen for themselves how important the Docks are to Medway, all this would be lost if the closure were to go ahead.

Economically, with so many businesses closing down as a result of the effects of COVID 19, our towns now face a critical stage and this is not the time to close a thriving enterprise. We strongly urge the Council to give assurance that these hundreds of jobs and apprenticeships are not at risk and to guarantee a firm commitment to protect the long-term future of the Docks.

In these challenging times, Medway's recovery is going to depend on job creation and economic growth, Medway demands better, Liberal Democrats demand better.

ENDS