McCann have finally responded to challenges to the validity of their claim that the new factory would create 90 jobs. This comes as it has emerged that they claimed a similar factory, recently built in Cheshire, would create just 20 - 30 jobs!
McCann announced the claimed investment with a fanfare: 90 jobs on the back of a £2m investment was the newspaper headline. Their spokesperson repeated the £2m claim in the papers this year.
But an academic study suggests that the maximum number of jobs that this £2m investment could support is 46 and, even that, is highly improbable. Finally (six months after being asked the question by ECDC), we have McCann's response which goes along the lines of:
"We realise that £2m will only support 46 jobs but, whoops, we made a mistake. The investment will be £4m, not be £2m. There you are. Now it adds up."
After six months to come up with an explanation, this is the best they can do. McCann are now plucking figures out of thin air. We ask: what Company would proudly announce a £2m investment when it will actually be £4m? It's all made up.
This lack of credibility, on top of the discovery that the readings in their noise reports were also made up, goes to the heart of our concerns. We want the true facts to be presented.
But we think that the council, and hopefully the councillors, have finally twigged. Don't take anything at face value. The High Court threw out the first approval, academics have rubbished the jobs claim, ECDC's own consultants have rubbished the noise reports, the Environment Agency has said flood risk measures and pollution controls are not adequate. As independent experts line up to challenge McCann's claims, we think decision makers are finally beginning to see the light.
The planning decision, when is made, must be made in full knowledge of the true facts. This is all we ask.