Crisis talks over Blackburn brewery jobs threat

Blackburn Citizen: Crisis talks over Blackburn brewery jobs threat Crisis talks over Blackburn brewery jobs threat

A CRISIS meeting is to be held between the GMB and Black- burn with Darwen Council over Thwaites plan to axe jobs.

The meeting came about after the GMB Union asked council chiefs to work with it over proposals to axe 51 jobs.

The union said claims that job losses were due to the collapse of a town centre redevelopment plan needed to be investigated.

In talks with the union, Thwaites is said to have link- ed the job losses with the failure of a major new town centre supermarket plan.

Thwaites’ plan to sell its site to Sainsbury’s to fund a new Blackburn brewery collapsed last year – with the future of a car park the key sticking point.

The fact the council will not give up the last 70 years of a 99-year-lease is claimed to have prevented the devel-opment.

A meeting between GMB representatives and council bosses will now take place on Monday.

GMB regional officer San-dra Blight said an open dialogue was needed to get to the bottom of the issue.

She said: “We need to und-erstand what has gone on.

“There are 51 jobs on the line here, and it will affect whole families who all live in Blackburn.

“It is going to have a dev-astating impact, and the sugg- estions that the council can help save these jobs need to be explored.”

The original plan had been to see the Daniel Thwaites brewery move out of the town centre, selling the 7.2-acre Penny Street site to Sain- sbury’s.

The plan, which would also have sparked a town centre regeneration, stalled after weeks of behind-the-scenes talks.

Blackburn MP Jack Straw also intervened to try to broker a deal.

Miss Blight said: “Now that jobs are at risk, the public need to know, and we need to know, what can be done, and what has gone on between Thwaites and the council, to try and prevent this.”

Sainsbury’s said it had been keen to bring about the dev-elopment, but that a range of factors prevented them. A spokesman said: “We worked with the council and Thwaites for nearly three years and were naturally disappointed that a range of factors made it impossible for us to develop the site”.

Thwaites declined to comm- ent on the meeting.

A spokesman for Black-burn with Darwen Council said it was unable to com-ment ahead of the meeting on Monday.

Comments (5)

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10:10pm Fri 31 Jan 14

mavrick says...

It is a done deal I am afraid, loyalty is worth nothing.
It is a done deal I am afraid, loyalty is worth nothing. mavrick

10:16pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Biscay says...

Thwaites playing politics here - they are a notoriously tight fisted company, I'm amazed that they have lasted as long as they have- as long as it fits their own small minded agenda - they are happy. They don't give a toss about local people, local jobs, or redevelopment of the Town Centre, it's all about a small minded family clan mindset.
And no - I don't work for Thwaites !
Thwaites playing politics here - they are a notoriously tight fisted company, I'm amazed that they have lasted as long as they have- as long as it fits their own small minded agenda - they are happy. They don't give a toss about local people, local jobs, or redevelopment of the Town Centre, it's all about a small minded family clan mindset. And no - I don't work for Thwaites ! Biscay

2:08am Sat 1 Feb 14

woolywords says...

I hate to be the the prophet of doom here but I did state some time ago that, as soon as the council got engaged in these talks, it was all over for the brewery staying within Blackburn.
Even a change of Regeneration supremo wasn't going to save it, as they would seek to queer the deal, as they always do.
Maureen Bateson accepted what is, the proverbial poisoned chalice, and no matter what she may wish, want or hope for, has to go along with what she is told to do. So no blame lays upon her.
This was a broken deal, virtually as soon as Thwaites announced their aspirations. They wanted to reduce costs...that of shipping every barrel from the centre of the town to their distribution centre. The council wouldn't permit a brewery expansion, as it would mean a loss of revenue from the many other businesses that they hoped to attract. A sprawling brewery didn't figure in their mindset, when there is the chance of lots of Poundshops and the like. Even though many of them seem to change hands, just as the demands for business rates arrive.
Strange that, other towns, a lot smaller than this one, tolerate expansion of a brewery, to make it's mark in an area. Cherish it, as a landmark feature of the town. Yet this one, lamentably, would see every pub closed, the brewery gone and for what, exactly?
This council needs to take a step backwards and consider what it wants for our future.
They've withdrawn the subsidies from buses, without insisting on the ones that service the shift workers. Created the most frustrating traffic system known to man, making the town centre, a virtual no-go area for cars. Gave bus passes to all and sundry, yet do nothing for those that commute here, by giving a discounted parking scheme. Allowed the train service to become a near shopping hours only service and yet blithely hope to entice people to stay at an hotel, with nothing for miles around, to occupy their evening hours.
It's as if we are living in a town, that has to get up at 7 then be in bed, by the same time, in the evening! What next, I wonder, restricting the hours of the 7-11 shops to 9pm?
Years ago, when I lived in Germany, I used to see graffiti scrawled on the subways and factory walls, it read, Deutschland raus! It means, Germans awake and exemplifies what needs to be done in this town. You need to wake up and ask what is going on here?
This is our town, we pay for it and wonder why it's going so rapidly downhill, without our say so. Where is this plan for regeneration taking us? Why is it so hard for you, not to share it with us?
I hate to be the the prophet of doom here but I did state some time ago that, as soon as the council got engaged in these talks, it was all over for the brewery staying within Blackburn. Even a change of Regeneration supremo wasn't going to save it, as they would seek to queer the deal, as they always do. Maureen Bateson accepted what is, the proverbial poisoned chalice, and no matter what she may wish, want or hope for, has to go along with what she is told to do. So no blame lays upon her. This was a broken deal, virtually as soon as Thwaites announced their aspirations. They wanted to reduce costs...that of shipping every barrel from the centre of the town to their distribution centre. The council wouldn't permit a brewery expansion, as it would mean a loss of revenue from the many other businesses that they hoped to attract. A sprawling brewery didn't figure in their mindset, when there is the chance of lots of Poundshops and the like. Even though many of them seem to change hands, just as the demands for business rates arrive. Strange that, other towns, a lot smaller than this one, tolerate expansion of a brewery, to make it's mark in an area. Cherish it, as a landmark feature of the town. Yet this one, lamentably, would see every pub closed, the brewery gone and for what, exactly? This council needs to take a step backwards and consider what it wants for our future. They've withdrawn the subsidies from buses, without insisting on the ones that service the shift workers. Created the most frustrating traffic system known to man, making the town centre, a virtual no-go area for cars. Gave bus passes to all and sundry, yet do nothing for those that commute here, by giving a discounted parking scheme. Allowed the train service to become a near shopping hours only service and yet blithely hope to entice people to stay at an hotel, with nothing for miles around, to occupy their evening hours. It's as if we are living in a town, that has to get up at 7 then be in bed, by the same time, in the evening! What next, I wonder, restricting the hours of the 7-11 shops to 9pm? Years ago, when I lived in Germany, I used to see graffiti scrawled on the subways and factory walls, it read, Deutschland raus! It means, Germans awake and exemplifies what needs to be done in this town. You need to wake up and ask what is going on here? This is our town, we pay for it and wonder why it's going so rapidly downhill, without our say so. Where is this plan for regeneration taking us? Why is it so hard for you, not to share it with us? woolywords

9:17am Sat 1 Feb 14

happycyclist says...

Blimey, wooly, that's a fair old comment! Well said.
Blimey, wooly, that's a fair old comment! Well said. happycyclist

4:51pm Sat 1 Feb 14

phil kernot says...

The writing was on the cooling tower t@wa@t@s straight to the point but true:)
The writing was on the cooling tower t@wa@t@s straight to the point but true:) phil kernot

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