Norfolk County Council ‘must do more to protect CITB workers’

GV CITB Bircham Norflk.
GV CITB Bircham Norflk.

County leaders are not doing enough to protect the economy from threatened job cuts like those from the Construction Industry Training Board in West Norfolk.

The claim was made during a Norfolk County Council debate yesterday, which called for more to be done on issues like it.

But calls for the authority’s business and property committee to strengthen its economic development work were rejected.

The debate came just days after prime minister Theresa May signalled her backing for the campaign to stop the CITB moving its headquarters from its current site in Bircham Newton, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

A motion, proposed by Labour’s Colleen Walker, called for new proposals to be brought forward when 
the committee next meets in the new year.

It said the committee was not doing enough to address issues like the CITB job threat, or the demise of plans for a new science hub at Downham.

But its chairman, Keith Kiddle, said it was working with other councils and local enterprise partnerships to address those and other issues facing the county.

He said: “It’s our job not to be narrow but to be innovative and pro-active.”

Fellow Conservative, Graham Plant, added: “It’s about generating growth and jobs in Norfolk over the next 20 or 30 years, not just the next four or five.”

But Labour’s Terry Jermy said: “There’s too many headlines about struggling Norfolk businesses. Let’s get on the front foot and be proactive.”