September 12, 2015
Burnham's Mayor 'shocked and saddened' at Morrisons closure plan

Burnham-On-Sea's Mayor has expressed his shock at the potential closure of the town's Morrisons supermarket.

Mayor Michael Clarke and Mayoress Maria Clarke, right, first heard that the Burnham store has been proposed for closure from Burnham-On-Sea.com on Friday morning.

"It was a surprise - we were both shocked and saddened to read about it," he said.

"For many years, Morrisons has been a good supporter of our town. They have created jobs and provided a useful facility that is used by many locals and holidaymakers in the centre of Burnham."

"I would therefore like to see a supermarket here in the future which would hopefully protect some - or all - of the jobs. Our thoughts go to all those whose jobs are threatened."

A Morrisons spokesperson told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "We have looked extremely carefully at whether our store in Burnham-On-Sea can be turned around but unfortunately we cannot see a way of making it viable. We are therefore proposing its closure. We are consulting with colleagues and unions and we will be discussing how to reduce redundancies and redeploy colleagues around our business."

Burnham-On-Sea's MP James Heappey told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "Whilst Morrisons, along with other supermarkets, have been in the firing line this summer over milk prices; the proposed closure of their store in Burnham is very sad news."

"Clearly the first priority is those who work there and I understand that Morrisons is working with employees and the unions to minimise redundancies. I am in contact with Morrisons' head office and will watch that process closely."

"Later on, we will need to know the future of that site. Other supermarkets have been mooted but clearly it is a prime spot in Burnham and it is vital that whatever goes there next will boost the local economy and be in keeping with the rest of town. I stand ready to work with the local councils to make sure that is the case."

Town Centre Manager Beverley Milner Simonds said she's been in contact with Sedgemoor District Council's Economic Development team and a meeting is to be held early next week to discuss the possibilities for the site.

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