ONE of my first industry visits as Mayor of Colchester took me to Man Energy Solutions in May 2016, just a couple of weeks before the EU referendum.

The managing director explained the international significance of this company and how concerned he was about a leave vote and the impact that might have.

Four years on this German company which employed more than 80 workers is shutting up shop and moving on.

What an utter tragedy this is for our town, but most importantly for the workers that will be losing their jobs.

READ MORE >>> 80 jobs to go as bosses plan to shut down historic factory after 150 years

This company was previously known as Paxmans Diesels and for 150 years the most specialist work has been going on in the heart of our town, creating and renovating huge turbo engines that power boats and trains.

During my visit I met workers who worked well beyond their normal retirement age to pass on their skills to younger and less experienced staff, they must be devastated that their dedication and life’s work has come to this abrupt end.

I was pretty shocked by our MP’s attitude towards this closure, in other towns and cities where we see Industries closing we see the MP fighting closure and offering support to the company to stay in operation.

In the absence of our MP taking a lead we discussed this as a Cabinet and Councillor King will be making contact with the company to see if we can persuade them to think again and see what Colchester Borough Council can offer in the way of help and support.

This tragedy should not be treated lightly, I feel very strongly that Colchester needs skilled jobs and we cannot afford to let 80 jobs slip away so easily.

Councillor Julie Young

Deputy Leader Colchester Borough Council and Cabinet Member for Culture, Local Plan and Performance.

Essex County Councillor Wivenhoe St Andrew Division Borough Councillor Greenstead ward