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Local MP "shocked and concerned" at college U-turn that will close campus and cost jobs

13 March 2018

Labour MP for Weaver Vale Mike Amesbury, said today (Tuesday) he was "shocked and hugely concerned" at Warrington and Vale Royal College's plans to effectively close its Hartford campus in September, with the loss of 56 jobs.

The MP said the college had given him assurances that the Hartford campus was not at risk following a merger in August last year. However the college now wishes to decommission the site and leave only four courses in place (electrical installation, English and maths, fabrication & welding and performing engineering operations/mechanical engineering) for the 2018/19 academic year.

The University and College Union (UCU) said it welcomed the MP's support and that the college had to publicly explain how the Hartford campus had gone from secure to facing closure in a matter of months.

Warrington and Vale Royal College was formed following a merger in August 2017 of Mid Cheshire College and Warrington Collegiate. During the consultation process the merger was promoted as something that would create a "financially stable and economically resilient institution" which would "contribute positively to the financial health of the sector as a whole".

MP for Weaver Vale Mike Amesbury said: 'Having been assured about the future of the Hartford campus I am shocked and hugely concerned at the prospect of this vital community resource being closed. The loss of the campus will be a blow not only to the staff whose jobs are threatened but also to current and future learners in the region.

'I would urge the college to reconsider the proposed redundancies and engage in a meaningful discussion with trade union representatives to explore all viable alternatives.'

UCU regional official Martyn Moss said: 'We are pleased Mike Amesbury has voiced his concerns about the plans for Hartford campus and the potential loss of jobs. The college must publicly explain how the future of the Hartford campus has gone from secure to facing closure in a matter of months.

'We believe the college must better explain this decision and there must be a public consultation before any final decision is made.'