The petition of residents of Solihull,
Declares that local residents have great concern over the proposals to close Morrison’s Store, in Shirley.
The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urges the Government to encourage WM Morrisons PLC to reconsider proposals to close Morrisons in Shirley.
And the petitioners remain, etc.—[Presented by Julian Knight, Official Report, 26 September 2019; Vol. 664, c. 972.]
Observations from the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (Kelly Tolhurst):
The Government recognise the vital contribution that retailers make not only to the UK economy but also to local communities. We also recognise local residents’ concerns at the impact of the closure of the Shirley Morrisons store.
That said, it would not be right for Government to interfere in the management decisions of a private company such as WM Morrisons, as it takes decisions on commercial matters affecting its business.
The Government have been in touch with Morrisons and understand that Morrisons have taken the decision to close the Shirley store as part of a restructuring programme. We recognise this is not the news the petitioners wished to hear.
Morrisons have spoken to the teams in affected stores and are now working with them to review the options available to them including redeployment within the business. The most important thing is that Morrisons continue to provide the necessary level of employee support to ensure staff are redeployed or moved back into employment as soon as possible.
In a wider context the Greater Birmingham and Solihull LEP (GBSLEP) have been awarded £433 million across three growth deals to invest in projects that benefit the local area and economy. To date the LEP have supported a number of projects in Solihull, which includes over £2 million investment into improved transport infrastructure at Lode Lane and over £1.9 million in upgrading and improving the skills provision at Solihull College and University Centre.
In March this year, GBSLEP launched a new Framework to regenerate town centres and high streets across the region. The document offers guidance on how towns can attract more investment by drawing on best practice from other locations. Solihull Council was involved in the development of this strategy and continues to work closely with the LEP to maximise the economic opportunity of the areas towns and high streets.