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Call for campaign to keep Britvic and Unilever in Norwich to be backed by all 84 Norfolk county councillors

PUBLISHED: 14:17 05 October 2017 | UPDATED: 14:17 05 October 2017

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever.
Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Colman's Mustard made by Unilever. Picture: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2016

A call has been made for all 84 Norfolk county councillors to show their solidarity for Britvic and Unilever workers - by pledging the authority will use its powers and influence to keep the jobs and brands in the city.

And a motion tabled for the next meeting of Norfolk County Council also calls on the council to welcome the EDP/Evening News campaign to keep the factories open.

Britvic announced this week it plans to shut its factory in Norwich, putting 242 jobs at risk. Bosses intend to shift production of Robinsons and Fruit Shoot drinks, which are made at the Carrow Works site, to London, Leeds and Rugby.

Following that announcement, Unilever, which produces Colman’s Mustard, said it could also withdraw from the Bracondale site which it shares with Britvic.

Unilever said it would be speaking to its 113 employees at the site, and was aiming to have reached a decision by the end of next month.

An EDP/Evening News petition urging bosses to stay in Norwich has been signed by more than 6,400 people.

And Steve Morphew, leader of the opposition Labour group at Norfolk County Council, will, on Monday, October 16, ask fellow councillors to commit to support the campaign and for the council use its powers and influence to keep the jobs and brands in the city.

Former city council leader Mr Morphew said; “It gives an opportunity for the whole of the council to vote for something which will be an expression of solidarity for the workers and show these companies and brands are valued by the city and the county.

“It’s important we all get behind the campaign and good to see the influential voice of the EDP and Evening News at the vanguard of it.”

County council’s leader Cliff Jordan has suggested even if Britvic shuts down its Norwich operations, the authority could help keep production of the eponymous condiment in the city.

Mr Jordan said: “Norfolk County Council has other sites in and around the city that we can hopefully move them on to.

“If Britvic decide to go we do not want to lose Colman’s, so if we can stop it happening we will try. We will be willing to help as best we can.”

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