"I am opposed to expansion of the Kent Science Park and opposed to massive housing developments south of the A2"
Cllr Mike Whiting prior to supporting HIF bid
Glimmer of light behind Pfizer's dark cloud
The decision by Pfizer to close its base in Sandwich serves as a harsh reminder of the world we currently live in.
While the Government prefers to use words like ‘recovery' and ‘revival' when referring to the economy these days, it is clear business is still struggling and that even the biggest multinational corporations are being forced to cut their losses.
The 2,400 employees directly affected by the impending closure of Pfizer have some big decisions to make over the next two years, as it is clear such highly-specialised jobs will be hard to come by anywhere else in the county.
Many will be forced to leave Kent in search of alternative employment, while some may decide they have no other choice but to seek a new career path altogether.
There is also the knock-on effect the closure is bound to have on the local economy. As both the Kent Invicta Chamber of Commerce and the Federation of Small Businesses have pointed out, there are likely to be many more firms that will suffer from the loss of such a huge employer.
What will happen to all the shop workers, restaurant staff, cleaners, canteen workers and so on who so heavily rely on the cash spent by Pfizer's army of workers? Unfortunately it looks like many will end up beside them in the dole queue.
However, through the dark storm clouds gathering over Sandwich, there are some who can just make out a glimmer of hope in the distance.
They say the site is just too large and too high-tech to be wasted, and that the demise of Pfizer in Kent could lead to an influx of science-led companies that could make full use of the technology available to them.
Kent County Council is well aware of how important the Sandwich base is to the east Kent economy and beyond, and should be pushing the Government to do all it can to ensure such a positive outcome.
Article by Steve Knight