Ellesmere Port and Neston MP Justin Madders (Lab) has met the business secretary at Westminster to call for greater support for Vauxhall.
The campaigning MP is demanding action from the Government to support Vauxhall and the automotive sector ahead of the autumn budget.
In a private meeting with the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Greg Clark MP (Con), Mr Madders emphasised the strategic importance of the manufacturing sector.
He believes there is a need for an ‘interventionist approach’ from Government if the UK is to compete with the likes of Germany and France.
He called upon the Government to support the long-standing aspiration to bring more of the supply chain to Ellesmere Port, which would reduce costs and boost efficiency, as well as delivering a number of skilled jobs to the local economy.
In a separate move Mr Madders has written to the country’s 41 police and crime commissioners to encourage them to procure British manufactured vehicles.
He points out Cheshire Constabulary came under fire when it moved from locally made Vauxhall Astras to Hyundais, which are manufactured overseas and is pushing for social impact to be given much greater consideration when purchasing decisions are made.
Mr Madders commented: “The Ellesmere Port factory remains of one of the most efficient of its kind anywhere in Europe but when we are competing against other countries we need more than just a highly skilled and productive workforce.
“The countries with whom we are competing pull out all the stops to support their manufacturing industries including offering incentives to relocate the supply chain and working with the owners to optimise the local infrastructure.
“It’s also much more common to see the public sector purchasing in a way that supports local jobs in other countries than our own.
“Ministers can’t afford to just sit on their hands and hope for the best any longer, a modern economy demands an active Government with a positive industrial strategy.
“I will continue to press the chancellor to deliver the measures in the budget that our local area needs if it is to thrive.
“The budget later this month is the opportunity for the Government to show by its actions, not just words, that it supports British manufacturing.”
He emphasised: “There is also no escaping the fact that uncertainty around the plans for Brexit and the chaos at the heart of Theresa May’s Government have deterred companies like PSA from making long-term decisions about their future.
“We were promised a Northern Powerhouse, but it seems to have descended into a Westminster power struggle.”
Last month Vauxhall workers in Ellesmere Port learned owners the PSA Group, maker of Peugeot and Citroen, are to axe 400 jobs due to falling sales and move production from two shifts to one in early 2018.
PSA says the redundancies have come about because the group is ‘facing challenging European market conditions’.
Mr Madders said at the time of the announcement: “This is hugely disappointing news.
“For so many people to lose their jobs at once is bound to have an impact on the local economy.
“I hope that the vast majority, if not all, of the departures can be achieved on a voluntary basis.”