06 FEB 2011

Pfizer closure

Tuesday's announcement that Pfizer is to withdraw from East Kent has been a real shock to us all. My thoughts are with the employees, their families and the need to build a stronger future for East Kent. We are doing our very best to protect these livelihoods and I spent Saturday morning listening to the views of Pfizer employees in Deal High Street about what should happen next.

Pfizer have been retrenching for many years. The group's strategy is to focus on research that is different from the Sandwich site's expertise and they are cutting global R&D by 23%. All these things have meant their decision to withdraw from the Dover District.

Yet, as you can see, the site is excellent and modern. So too are the scientists. Our priority is to make sure the brilliance of the scientists who discovered Viagra is maintained here, in East Kent. Our aim is to see new companies invest locally and carry on the research for which our scientists are rightly famed.

 

What we are doing to help

  • Within 24 hours of the announcement the leaders of Dover District, Thanet District and Kent County Councils met with the 5 East Kent MPs to agree a way forward;
  • Ministers David Willetts and Vince Cable pressed to assist with assistance on seeing Sandwich continue to be a centre of excellence and innovation, even after Pfizer;
  • Met with bosses at Pfizer plant on Friday to ensure everyone works together to save local jobs;
  • Plan to hold a "town hall" meeting for workers will be organised to talk through the options for the site and the future; and
  • All East Kent MPs are working together to do all possible to save this important regional employer.

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Charlie Elphicke

Here you can read about local news matters and what I've been up to. You can make comments too. I'd welcome your feedback, so please do feel free to comment!

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