Tuesday, February 01, 2011

PFIZER'S CLOSURE - Will it reduce East Kent to a peasant economy? 5000* Jobs on the line?

News that Pfizer pharmaceuticals are to close their research and development establishment at Sandwich in Kent, will come as a bitter blow to those of us who live in East Kent, Pfizer has for many years been seen as one of the few businesses located in our region willing or able to offer quality jobs.
Over the next 18 months to 2 years, the site will be run down and closed resulting in 2400 job losses, the suggestion that staff may  be offer jobs, at other sites will come as cold comfort, particularly given the fact that they are cutting back activities globally. One point that needs to be made, is that in recent years many jobs at Sandwich, have been handed over to agency workers, with all that entails, so is the 2400 figure the bottom line or top of the Iceberg? 
@ 16:20 Just had a word with Pfizer media bods and unfortunately the figure of 2400 does only, include directly employed staff so agency  and contract staff have not been factored in to headlines. @ 16:41 spoke again to Pfizer who are unable to give a figure of those indirectly employed, *Matt B of Thanet Star suggest up to 3000 contractors will also go, can anyone confirm this estimate, or question it?
Times change and although Pfizer has been viewed in the past as a good employer clearly things have changed and so has business culture, as an outsider, you would think that a company their size, would be able to maintain what I understand is a world class facility, particularly as one understands the Viagra, one of the companies major products was developed at the site.
It remains to be seen whether the government or the business community will be capable of salvaging anything from this decision, it would appear that East Kent is about to become a peasant economy, with aspiration capped, to the prospect of minimum wage jobs.
What a disaster!  The scale of this economic disaster will transcend narrow political divides and hopefully for once politicians will put on a united front to get whatever help and assistance is necessary to mitigate the effects of such a blow to the region.

Thanet Councils response to the news set out below,  I have spoken to KCC and have asked if they could let me have the reaction of Kent Council since this is a major blow to the region which they have in the form of a Statement from Paul Carter, Kent Council Leader

Thanet Council Pfizer Closure response

News of Pfizer’s decision to cease operations at its Sandwich site has come as a huge blow. Leader of the Council, Cllr Bob Bayford said “This news is an enormous setback for Thanet and the East Kent economy as a whole. Many of the staff who work there live in Thanet, so the unexpected closure of such an important contributor to the East Kent economy is especially worrying, particularly at a time when both the national and local economy face equally daunting challenges.

Thanet’s unemployment level is already the highest in the South East so this is going to hit us particularly hard, at a time when the economic recovery is still very fragile.

We will be seeking an urgent ministerial meeting with our local MPs to see what action the government can take to mitigate the job losses. We call on the government to intervene and provide tangible opportunities to attract business investment into East Kent to replace the jobs lost. We will be redoubling our efforts to attract businesses and investment into Thanet.

We will also be working closely with our neighbouring councils and with the county council to mitigate the impact of Pfizer’s closure on surrounding businesses and the local economy.”

KCC Leader Paul Carter's Statement

Statement from Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council.

“The closure of Pfizer at Sandwich is a major blow to East Kent. Many of Pfizer’s workforce live in the area and are among the most highly skilled workers in Kent. This will also have a massive impact on local people and the local economy that support Pfizer as a business.

“I have now been asked by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to lead a task force in partnership with Pfizer and the Local Enterprise Partnership to do everything we can to mitigate the impact of this decision and continue with our ambitious plans for East Kent.

“I will also be working closely with local MPs such as Laura Sandys, Charlie Elphicke and the leaders of Dover and Thanet District Councils to look at innovative solutions to minimise the impact on the communities of East Kent, as well as the broader Kent economy.”

Pfizers Press release in full

Pfizer Announces PROPOSALS TO EXIT Sandwich SITE AS PART OF acceleration of GLOBAL r&d strategy

Sandwich, UK 1st February 2011: Pfizer Inc. has today announced its intention to exit its research site at Sandwich in Kent. This decision is part of a global programme of changes announced today to accelerate Pfizer’s long term research and development (R&D) strategy to create a more focused and sustainable R&D engine for innovation. As part of this global strategy Pfizer is planning to exit certain therapeutic areas, including Allergy & Respiratory, which is based at Sandwich.

The number of Pfizer colleagues currently employed at our Sandwich site is approximately 2400.  Over the next 18-24 months a majority of these positions will be redundant, but we hope to transfer several hundred positions to other Pfizer sites or to external partners, subject to employee consultation and other legal requirements.

Given the talented and strong workforce and the excellent facilities at Sandwich, Pfizer is working actively to find partnership opportunities which can utilise the facilities and buildings, in an effort to preserve jobs and activity on the site.

During this period, Pfizer’s priority is to support colleagues affected by this decision. Every effort will be made to mitigate the impact on Pfizer colleagues and the local community. The company will work closely with national and local agencies as this process moves forward.

A new Pain and Sensory Disorders Unit will be based in Cambridge, UK drawing on some assets from the Regenerative Medicines Unit.

In future there will be approximately 3,000 positions across Pfizer’s entire business in the UK.

Dr Ruth McKernan, Senior Vice President and Site Head at Sandwich said: “It is with a deep sense of sadness that we announce our proposal to exit our site in Sandwich, Kent. It has played an important role in the discovery and development of medicines and has brought many life-saving treatments to patients.

“Sandwich has an extremely talented workforce with a proud and rich history in science research and development. This decision is no reflection on the site, the workforce or the operating environment in the UK. We recognise that this is a difficult time for colleagues and the community and our priority now, and over the coming weeks and months, is to support our people through this process.

“It is hoped that we can retain this proud R&D heritage through strategic partnerships in the future.”


  1. It is a shame that the place is very likely to close. This causes a degree of uncertainty. Uncertainty for some provides opportunity for others. I'm wondering what will occur on the site. At least the road building has been done and we have the benefit of that.

  2. They say no news is good news and this is absolutely terrible news !
    2400 more unemployed in and around Thanet, what more of a local disaster could you imagine.

    This will impact on nearly every aspect of local life, as the previous post quite aptly says "were stuffed"
    Yet another indication of things going in the totally wrong direction, with little or no action to remedy in sight.

    Ask yourself the question: if you were a company looking to relocate, would you give Thanet a chance ....

  3. Now, more than ever, we need leadership from our local authorities and MPs, free from political infighting and point scoring. KCC, TDC, CCC and DDC all need to work together to formulate a plan to entice large scale investment into the area.
    That said, a lot of the local infrastructure improvement (access roads etc) would not have happened without Pfizers regular threats to leave.

  4. Too late Andrew, it looks like both sides have already started bickering over this instead of actually doing something (& don't expect even a comment from the local lib-dems, as they don't seem to have an opinion on other local issues such as the possible Manston station).

  5. It will be interesting to see if Roger Gale will get off his backside on this one, admittedly it does not involve his "pet" subject animal welfare but people which always prove tricky for our member for Thanet North

  6. And Tony !!!

    Time to remember the know all Thanet sneers when I posted long since about dumbing down contractual standards to avoid re-work after pipe and vessel welds failed their specified tests and were condemned by site weld inspectors on the Pfizer development site ?

    And I suggested then that Pfizer knew the site would not be operating long term ?


  7. Have you seen the idiotic statement from Cllr Nicholson that Michael has just posted on Thanet Press Releases? The man (not Michael!) should be ashamed of himself.
    Agree about Roger Gale - he's too busy moaning about being unable to employ his wife any more. Doubtless his contribution will be either turning the site into a giant animal rescue centre or continued lobbying for Thanet Parkway Station and the Turner Centre as the solution to all our problems. Complete waste of space - glad I don't live on that side of the Island.

  8. Retired. You really are a tiresome old git. The area is facing a major employment crisis and all you can offer is a "look at me aren't I a clever old stick" sort of comment. Next you'll be wheeling out the Great Deal Bombing Conspiracy. If you have nothing constructive to offer at this time I suggest that you just shut up.

  9. I think it is really sad. I worked at Pfizer until I was made redundant in 2004 and can only say it was the best job I have ever had. They were very good to us while the redundancy process was going through. I did manage to get some sort of work in Thanet after but have now moved away to a more central and progressive area away from the edge of beyond.

  10. I'd imagine there isn't a family in East Kent effected somehow, I understand that Paul Carter KCC Leader is to head some sort of taskforce committee or something like that, I just hope he is up to the task.

    I'd imagine perhaps at least a £100 million a year will disappear fromn the local economy and probably much more.


  11. I have to say the Nicholson comments do seem partisan and poorly chosen, still more interesting is the that Clive Hart who I assume still describes himself as leader on his twitter, makes no mention.

  12. Quite ridiculous to try to make this a political point scoring issue but the left are already at it with Nicholson locally and Unite nationally.

    Jobs have been shed at regularly intervals, in hundreds at a time, from Pfizer over the last decade. Over the same period there have been ongoing rumours of closure. Labour were in office for most of that time, if we want to be silly, but this is not about UK government, but the global strategy of a multi-national company.

    It is bad and will impact on every business in the area, the local housing market as well as driving away the better qualified to seek comparative employment elsewhere.

    It needs a super human effort by government, our MPs, councils and the local people to try to find some silver lining to this cloud but, let us hope for once, that it does not become yet another topic for the whingers and blamers to get their teeth into.

  13. I am suprised that Pfizer are prepared to walk away from all that infrastructure, in reality they are leaving a small town behind with all its structural facilities that can be modified.
    I could see this as being a problem for Thanet because unlesss someone can be found to use the site as a like for like facility. The empty facility will be broken up into smaller facilities with a transport infrastructure that will be in direct competition with the Thanet Local Plan. If that does happen then apart from the job loses Thanet will also lose out on inward investment which makes it a double whammy.

  14. I believe the Deputy Labour leader is out of the country so presumably Nicholson considers himself the next in line. Arrogant s*d.

  15. Tony B, I am not sure the local purpose would not be better served by a number of new firms ultimately operating at the Pfizer site. That way we cannot be perpetually held to ransom by the threat of leaving, as we have in the past, and one closing would not be a total disaster.

    Certainly jobs, however created, must become the priority before any area plan.

    See Unite are using this already for political point scoring and to dismiss the governments private sector job creation plans. Do they not realise that unless, as a nation, we create both jobs and wealth in the private sector, there will be no money to pay for the public sector ones. Or is that too deep for the dinosaurs that run it.

  16. I bet our political leaders are wishing they hadn't spent years sucking up to this shower and listening to what they wanted. If they'd paid half as much attention to small employers in the region (the ones who don't cut and run) we'd have better prospects of getting out of this mess. It's the same old story. The politicians always want big solutions, but they always end up backing big failures. Next up...the Turner Centre.

  17. I have to point out that my figure of 3k more workers is based on things Pfizer people have said about the ration of staff and some educated guesswork. I wasn't joking when I said estimate. There is a big margin for error both ways. Could be (much) bigger, might be smaller. I'd be thrilled if someone could dig up some cold hard facts though.

    If we could get a Thanet connection to JANet main at 10 Gbit/sec or better or one of the other Backbone providers we could bring in some huge money from IT companies but unless Pfizer built in some fibre that I don't know about the Internet speeds down here are too slow. Even Canterbury's impressive connection is a secondary (that's still flipping good BTW).

  18. So BlueNote what are the government's job creation plans apart from just saying that we need more private sector jobs? They did call together some captains of industry like supermarket bosses but as yet I have seen no output from this. We know that any investments that are being made are north of Watford and the SE in particular was heavily hit in the spending review on the basis that it is doing ok compared to the rest of the country.

  19. I blame David Cameron, its his fought that Labour messsed everything up and over spent all the country's money!

    He should have a magic wand!

  20. Matt I spoke to pfizer media and they told me that it did not have a figure and it would be inappropriate to comment

  21. One very small ray of sunshine appeared only a couple of weeks ago when BT announced that Sandwich was going to be one of their handful of 'super' broadband exchanges and so the basic infrastructure to make the area attractive to potential incoming, hi-tech businesses will exist at the time it is needed most.

  22. I'm sure that will be of considerable comfort to those families whose futures have now been derailed Simon

  23. what an amazing day for terrible news.... first the Pfizer disaster and then we get to log on to Police.uk and see what a ghetto we are living in !!!
    If this is the start of the real downturn and this is as good as it gets for the next few years, i'm joining Pfizer and getting the hell out of here and heading for sunnier days abroad...

  24. I hear BBC radio Kent is discussing this issue on their breakfast programme along with the work life balance on the latter I'd say no work no life

  25. I think to be fair to Simon he was only trying to see a chink of light on a very dark day. We make sod all in this country now, we're dependent on other countries for our food and energy; about all we do now is provide services, mainly IT-based. Surely even the most prejudiced must acknowledge that this is an area of Moores expertise! As I said before, EVERYONE needs to stop squabbling and start being a bit more constructive. Spit your dummies out and start talking sense

  26. If only, Andrew, on the work together front but, sadly, whinging is what an element within Thanet do best, aided and abetted one might add by point scoring politicians.

    I noticed in yesterday's local paper that someone from Eltham reckons Margate is a dump. From Eltham would you believe. Their High Street is no better than Margates, the town centre after dark there is more dangerous and the moat around the Tudor Barn, once full of water with ducks and swans, now has some green slime, bottles, cans, tyres and the odd mattress. At least we still have the sea, beaches and sunsets. All they have is burnt out cars around Eltham Palace fields and an overdose of boy racers.

    To Anon 9:07 let me say I do not have some link to high places and do not know the government's plans. What I do know, however, is the Unite solution of more and more people employed in the public sector is a one way ticket to bankruptcy and poverty.

    Since you are always asking me questions perhaps you can enlighten us on Labour's plans for job creation and the economy. If they have any they are certainly keeping them pretty close to their chest at the moment.

    And, to the person heading off to the sun, how are you going to sell your house?

  27. Bluenote, I see that your political ally, Councillor Moores, is also going in for - as you describe it - political point scoring, by assiging part of the background responsibility for the Pfizer decision on the last Labour Government.

    I assume you will condemn this just as you have Unite's comments.

    Oh, of course you won't, as you hate unions and the Left, and love the Right, so the latter commenting will be good, while the former will be "unacceptable". Silly old me.

  28. Clearly missed something here.. Ten years of decline under a Labour Government as manufacturing industry declined to a trickle. In Liverpool alone, 40,000 jobs I recall from the BBC Politics Show, went straight from the private sector right into the public sector to hide the catastrophe, the Leader of Liverpool council admitting such. So if the last Labour government wasn't busy 'fiddling' while Rome burned, spending money we didn't have on extravagant PFI projects that our grandchildren will still be paying for, then you had better point out the error of my ways!

  29. It is now time for all the anti groups & NIMBY's to accept that the many regeneration projects that are currently underway need to be brought to a conclusion and produce the much needed jobs. Manston Airport
    Eurokent, Manston Business park projects.and many others all subject of delays due to small element who are against everything.If you dont want an Airport then move it was here before you were,

  30. 12:53 PM I see you are your usual self when it comes to criticising but singularly useless at responding to questions. I asked you what are Labour's plans for job creation, outside unsustainable public sector ones of course, but no answer. Just your usual throw back the argument antic.

    This being the state of play I suggest I ignore you and you ignore me for I fail to see why your love of the left is anymore worthy or credible than my hatred of it.

  31. Lets get this 'discussion' into perspective! Your Council has a business plan,it is split into three sections.... short term, medium term, and long term,. Pfizers works the same way. The site at Sandwich was probably 'earmarked' for closure some 10 years ago. They only operate to generate income for their shareholders!

  32. Ken, not sure how your comment gets anything into perspective. The main concern and thread here is how are we, as an area, going to cope with the Pfizer closure and the more sensible contributions call on all to work together. It is also suggested that other projects like Manston and the business parks are moved ahead at pace rather than stalled by the anti-lobby.

    The council plan, however worthy, could not cater for this disaster even if the writing has been on the wall for years. Now is time for drastic action, total co-operation at all levels, and between parties, as well as support from the people. Time now also to ignore the whinging minority.

  33. Absolutely typical, this thread is pulling up some good ideas,some not so good in fighting and of course the idiotic ramblings of a councillor (simon Moores excluded).

    One thing is absolutely certain, this is going to impact on all of us no matter what part of society we hail from.
    As a large business owner i am certain that the shock wave from this will rip through Thanet especially hard, not only on the economic front and god knows we can't afford that, but also on the side of losing some of the top end employees who will have to leave this part of the world to follow their careers.

    Thanet will lose far more than revenue it will lose the very fibre of its people something ultimately invaluable.
    as was said before the clock is now ticking and unfortunately for Thanet some of the people in decision making positions are simply not up to the job, this is the real worry.
    I know that if this were the states things would be being handled so very differently and solutions being found on a daily basis.
    It is going to be a very uncomfortable ride through this year and next that is for certain.

  34. Whilst I would agree with the last comment on effect and need for action, I am not sure the US has the answers anymore. Just take a look at Detroit, a once flourishing industrial town but now reduced to a shabby wrecked shell of a place. Good old Yankee 'know-how' did not achieve much there.

    We have to come up with British solutions and I believe with the right attitude it can be done. It has to for the alternatives are to bleak to consider.

  35. The worst idea I've seen is that this closure somehow makes it all the more important that we develop Manston airport.

    This closure makes it all the more important that we all focus on this area's assets and what can be done to make the most of them.

    The key asset we have is our beautiful coastline and fabulous weather. One hour from London with a harbour-side to rival many French resorts, Ramsgate should be a boom town. It's got so much more going for it than Whitstable.

    We should have an a protected area of nature walks and cycle paths extending from Pegwell, through the Wantsum channel to Stodmarsh and around the entire coast.

    By all means, develop small business parks catering for high-tech businesses. But the types of people who work in these places don't want to live with constant aircraft noise and pollution. The one thing that would kill Ramsgate stone-dead is jets screaming over at all hours of the day and night.

  36. The last commentator is talking of the Thanet of my childhood which had no work outside the holiday trade. If your dad did not own an hotel you could help out in or you fancied something a bit better than deck chair attendant, you had to leave home to find it.

    Just how many worthwhile jobs will be created by nature rambling paths and lovely ecological walks. In any event, it is still possible to have these alongside modern developments. There is some pretty attractive countryside around Gatwick that is not blighted by a busy airport.

    Sadly, the loss of quality jobs and future prospect for our young local graduates means nothing to this typical NIMBY, perhaps as much part of Thanet's problem as Pfizer's closure.

  37. Its all a bit like 1989 when the Kent coal mines were closed and 2,500 workers were redundant. Unemployment in Dover reached 15% but due to the Channel Tunnel construction it later fell to 10%. In the late 90's SEEDA established The Kent Coalfield Regeneration Programme and millions were pumped in by government to redevelop the 4 coal mine sites. Over 500 new jobs were created.
    Over the last few years SEEDA has also funded many other project in East Kent. But SEEDA got the chop and now we have the Kent/Essex local partnership in its place. So come on cllr Carter of KCC show us in East Kent that this new quango is not Thames Gateway centric and pledge us financial support.

  38. 4 41 much agree with your comments, and this event will be corrosive and unfortunately educated people with aspiration will move away, given the chance.

    As for decision makers & leaders, in Thanet few inspire confidence.

  39. Bluenote, I see you are once again reverting to type - the rude, hostile behaviour of the political Right. An especially, if not uniquely, Thanet trait.

    I know - genuinely - it is difficult tracking postings that are "anonymous", but in your last rant - where you too sidestep questions and "charges" as ever - you are confusing two different commentators. Not your fault.

    But the debate about the future of Pfizers is beginning to kick off, and my disagreements with you - and vice versa - should not get in the way of that. I am therefore happy to take up your invitation and ignore you.

    A pity that your political allies - Tories Moores and Gregory are 1) offending your sensibilities by using the news to score cheap political points and 2) apparently displaying no surprise about, or interest in or care about the news. Let's hope the MPs and others who have gone to Westminster today are GENUINELY concerned and wanting to pursue action.

  40. If you want to see pond life politics at work just look at Nicholson's statement yesterday. Or how quickly Unite waded in to blame the Tories.

  41. Shame about the jobs, but I predict such evil quacksalver corporations will soon (5 years?) be consigned to the dustbin of NWO horrors along with their godfather David Rockefeller.

    Companies like Pfizer are responsible for the epidemic of kids with personality disorders, brain damage and autism through the diabolical vaccine hoax and the ritolin type 'speed' drugs.

    As far as solutions go, if any Pfizer researchers are reading this, how about investing your severance pay and time into a small production business for natural, organic healthcare, redeeming yourself into the bargain! Admittedly, you are unlikely to get any orders from the NHS, but the NHS will find itself in the aforementioned dustbin, come the awakening.

    You are the resistance!


  42. Anon, pond life is clearly a mix of all the political colours.

  43. Its ECR I feel sorry for and all those other DFL's that are trying to sell up and return to base. It must cost them at leat 20% reduction in sale price.
    And you must feel sorry for George Osbourne as well. With a £50 million a year payroll that will cost him £17 millions in lost NI and taxes plus about £30 millions in benifit payments each year.

  44. Crocodile tears by any chance? Strange how some people delight in others misfortune and would rather see the country go to the wall than flourish under a Conservative led government.

    As to the low life in all political parties, the ones currently trying to score out of Pfizers closer, Nicholson and Unite, are very definitely on the left. Simon Moores is trying to help the progress to solutions but, would have to agree that Ken Gregory's comment was just meaningless politic speak.

  45. Thank you 11:11. Nicholson and any others that try and make political capital out of this are lower than pond life - possibly even lower than the slime that pond life lives in.

  46. Annon 11:11 it doesn't put David Cameron in a good light to hear that he was speeking to the head of Pfizers on January 6th this year, something just doesn't seem right.

  47. See Tony B is jumping on the political capital bandwagon by implication. If David Cameron was speaking to Pfizer it was, no doubt, to try some last minute salvation attempt. However, he can hardly be blamed, if that were the case, and let us not forget this has been on the cards for a decade or more.

    What perhaps we should remember, based on the old adage:


    Whilst the above is true it is also true that it would be rather distasteful to go back to the soiled diaper we only got shot of last May. It was, after all, that one that was responsible for the mess we are in.

  48. This site is ideal for possible conversion into a specialist University according to Vince Cable yesterday,I hope that this is possible, instead of wasting billions on Trident let the Government use our tax more constructively .is it possible some of the staff could be re-employed if it is utilised as a university?

  49. The suggestion by Vince Cable, of a university use, certainly merits serious consideration and what a boost to the area that would be.

    Mind you, whilst he is considering possibilities, John Denham has joined the 'blame the Coalition for it' group.

    Isn't it amazing how all these people who failed in office and still have no credible plans, are suddenly expert at spotting flaws in other peoples. See also that Ed Balls, who was part of the Treasury team that got us almost into bankruptcy, now suddenly knows better on the economy than the Chairman of the Bank of England and the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Quite unreal!

    Unbelievable arrogance on his part and an insult to the intelligence of the rest of us. This is the man that even the Labour party did not want as leader and who only got the Shadow Chancellor job because the preferred choice resigned.

  50. Honestly, talk about listening to a broken record. What does it take to get an adult to stay on track of the subject matter without diverting off at any given time to put in a quick snide remark, it's pathetic !

    GROW UP, the time has come for joined up inteligent thinking no matter what side of the bleeding fence you are on. Brown like him or loathe him made a great big mess of things and now it has to be cleaned up. Alright Cameron may be the boy with the silver spoon in his mouth but at least he is trying, so cut out all the silly little jibes about he did this and you did that, ner ner de ner ner... its so childish.

    A reasoned educated debate will almost certainly bring forward new ideas and the prospects of revival, that is to everyones benefit, it's about time evryone put down their weapons and sat round the table to talk calmly, only then will any progress be made.

  51. I don't know about the rest of you but politics aside, there's serious work to do. I mentioned on my weblog that while Sandwich is in the South Thanet constituency, it's not within Thanet District Council, so we can only do so much here, other than watch the painful economic and personal fallout as it spreads within our district.

    Bob Bayford was up at Westminster, with Paul Carter and both Thanet MPs meeting with Vince Cable and David Willis. Everything that can be done within our limited means, reach and influence to mitigate this very bad news will be done but we're only local politicians and have no magical influence on the forces of globalism of which this is an unhappy symptom.

    As for the blame, it's pretty irrelevant and after the fact. It's what we can possibly do to heal the gaping wound that the loss of Pfizer will leave in already struggling neighbouring economies that really counts.

  52. A fine "pulling together" contribution, Councillor Moores, with little for anyone to challenge.

    Unfortunately you show your true colours on your own blog with your rant - in the Pfizer context - against Labour. Many will agree with your points, but please don't pretend that you are above the political point-scoring that others are going in for. You are doing the same. It is your forte.

  53. 7:46 PM - You seem to be obsessed with people showing their true colours. Dr. Moore is a Conservative councillor and has never claimed to be anything different. Here he is trying to make a sensible contribution to this worrying debate and you have to kick of on the political point scoring crap again.

    Just what is it with you Labour people that you cannot get your heads round the idea that we all live in the same country, basically all want a decent life and that sometimes our best interests would be served by pulling together.

    However, as you have raised the issue, it was Cllr. Nicholson locally who first tried to blame the government for this closure, then the Unite union suggested it is evidence of the government's inability to provide private sector jobs and John Denham is in turn blaming cuts for sending out the wrong message. Do these people really believe Pfizer took this decision that recently. Perhaps some genuine concern for people might no go amiss either.

    Yes, many commentators on these pages, anonymous, Andrew and Bluenote do tend to attack Labour for the persistent point scoring over everything but it is because that is what they do. Tories at least try to get on with sorting things out, something which seems beyond Labour.

  54. I'm sorry Anon, but we have sharply different views. Politicians are politicians and most share the same good points - and the same bad. You are quite wrong in your belief that the Tories just "get on with the job". They play the same games as everyone else, and that is certainly true of their elected representatives locally.

    I'm afraid "who goes first" in the point scoring is usually a matter of bad luck or poor timing. It is not the province just of the Left. You're praising Councillor Moores. I am simply pointing out that he has done just the same as those you are criticising (because they are not in line with your politics, it seems). He has offered some saneo and sensible contributions, but he is also scoring his own political points as well.

    Fine, he is no different from the rest. No better, no worse. But don't try to pretend otherwise. The Tories are not, as you argue, paragons of virtue.

    But moving on, ask yourself - or better ask the politicians - what the group of MPs and Council Leads said to Ministers when they visited. Big work centres have closed down frequently over the year, and so there is a lot of experience of the support measures that can be attempted. What is actually being proposed for Pfizers? If, as others are suggesting, this should not come as a surprise, what contingency plans have been drawn up?

  55. Oh I see, not bothered that this big-pharma detritus is brain-damaging our kids or spreading HIV, hepatitis and polio in the third world with their crappy vaccines... just so long as we have jobs, eh??

    That reminds me a bit of when gazillionaire George Soros was asked on national US TV if he felt any remorse for collaborating with the nazis to help round up his fellow jews for transport to the camps, during the war. His answer? "No, if I hadn't done it, somebody else would have"

  56. Annon 03:18 you realy are a bit sensitive when it comes to what you identify as critism.
    I am not blaming David Cameron one bit and I am not even blaming the Government. As it is a business decision by a foreign mutli national with no loyalty to this country whatsoever.

    I expect the Government may have known in advance but it is all this "we are shocked stance" that is so false when they probably knew well in advance.

    We have a Conservative Government, Conservative MP's and Conservative local Government. So the ball is firmly in their court as they control everything. Therefore I would assume that the public at large are expecting a growth plan for the South East and some sort of government intervention on the Jobs fronts in the coming months.

    I hope that is not to political for you or myself making political capital.

  57. Bluenote, there is absolutely no evidence that this country faced bankruptcy. If you have some please provide it.
    I agree the budget deficit is not a pretty picture and has to be sorted. At present we have a government in power that has adopted monetarist economics and is determined to bring everything back to basics hoping this will achieve growth. On the other hand other countries with budget deficits are adopting a more Keynsian economic approach which is producing now producing growth. This is in danger of putting Britain in a period of stagnation which will ruin many peoples lives in this country.

  58. Think comment by Pfizer schmeizer spot on,also if you talk to the sandwich traders most say Pfizer employees hardly ever shopped in sandwich as Pfizer has its own shop,canteen etc,so wont effect them.Also a great number of people employed by Pfizer lived in Whitstable,Canterbury and villages.

  59. Tony B, I agree, we cannot allow ourselves to be held to ransom by the multinationals, nor expect the incumbent political class to get us out of this mess, they are actually striving to make it worse, despite what they tell us, it is the globalist agenda.

    I think it is up to us to try to create a local macro economy. Of course, that will not be easy with the skewed markets, cheap imports and unfair regulations for small business. It really boils down to buying local if poss, even though it may be more expensive, but for the long term it is essential.

  60. Come on Tony all these comments and nothing from the Leader of the Opposition?Clive Hart, can't believe you havent got an in on that story, secret labour meeting,last night secret location, the only thing that is not secret is that Clive Hart is useless as a leader and the longer he stays the bigger the Gift to the other parties. labour is in freefall, despite many requests the simple answers requested by many have remained un answered by Hart. The Labour Group are in disaaray, Pfizer is a disatrous story but no comment from the Labour Group leader, is it that at last they realise that Labour has failed this Country and are too embarrassed to put their head over the parapit.

  61. Great idea, infowars.com, but are you not forgetting the great Thanet Nimby society who object to every idea to generate a local economy from art galleries to greenhouses, airports to oriental gateways. Then, we must not forget, the local politicians who change their minds in just weeks or days to attract these Nimbys as voters. (See Nicholsons blog where he talks of Night flight hysteria and just a couple of weeks later he endorses an anti-night flight agenda).

    Loved Tony B's distinction between close to bankruptcy and the unattractive budget deficit. In my book an onging budget deficit leads to bankruptcy, especially when you are also facing a down grading of your credit rating.

    Think the point Bluenote was making was that people like Denham and Balls, who were in the government that got us into that state, are now suddenly experts on how to get out of it. Mind you, that's politicians. Hypocrisy does not feature in their vocabulary but it is a major part of their make up.

  62. Annon 02:39, you must be having a laugh, at first I thought you was joking but take it from me I do not go with all that ficticious crap.
    Taking a positive view I think infowars is correct it is this globalist agenda that put us in this situation and is keeping us there.

    In my veiw our future in east kent is small to medium size business that has loyalty to this country and plays a fair game

  63. Tony B, precisely where is the fiction. Surely not our budget deficit. Not Denham and Balls being part of the government that led us into the position we are now in. No, try as I might I can find nothing ficticious.

    Incidentally, to assist you with your future comments it is not 'you was' but 'you were' to be grammatically correct.

  64. More building contracts for the boys maybe? At least we will have got rid of Pfizer every cloud has a silver lining , too bad they cant take Lord Carter with them.