NEWS THAT Shop Direct will close three centres has been met with shock and anger by local people.
It was clear that plans to open a new automated centre in the East Midlands would have been in development for some time but official confirmation only came to MPs and as I understand the local authority, after the story had already been covered by the press earlier today.
The plans will see the closure of the Little Hulton site together with Shaw and Chadderton. Together this will impact on 1,777 employees and 815 agency staff across the three sites.
The impact of this can not be underestimated and the response in support of the people affected must reflect this.
Oldham is in need of secure jobs and ones which are accessible to local people.
Much more needs to be done to connect Oldham with jobs across the whole of Greater Manchester including Trafford Park and Manchester Airport and now should be the time when longstanding concerns on transport and job opportunities are heard and acted upon.
We must push in Oldham, Greater Manchester and to government for targeted investment to attract new employers to the borough. While accessing jobs across Greater Manchester and beyond is critical so too the need to build a secure and solid foundation here in Oldham too.
Oldham is working hard to attract investment but without meaningful resources from government it’s often an up hill battle.
Together with other MPs and representatives from the local authority I will be meeting with Usdaw trade union on Friday followed by a meeting in Manchester with the GM Mayor, Shop Direct, DWP and the Manchester Growth Company.
When parliament meets next week we will also be raising these issues at the highest possible level.