COUNCILLORS have offered to do all they can to help minimise the impact of Cooper Tire’s shock announcement on the local economy.

Melksham Town Council said it was “saddened” to learn Cooper Tires Europe has begun a consultation with staff and stood ready to offer help and support to those affected.

It said: “The Town Council recognises that Cooper Tires are at the beginning of this process and at this stage no individual staff have been made redundant.It is important to recognise in all discussions and speculation that individual’s livelihoods are at risk and we hope that the wider community will be mindful and considerate of those who may be affected.”

The council has offered to provide whatever support it is able to help those impacted by today’s announcement.

Deputy Mayor, Cllr Jon Hubbard said they will work alongside Wiltshire Council, the Department of Work and Pensions, Wiltshire College, the Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and other relevant bodies to support any staff and their families affected.

He said: “We are desperately sad to learn of these potential job losses but are relieved that some of the worst-case scenarios that have been floated in the last few days have not come to pass.

“Cooper Tires have assured us they are committed to remaining in Melksham for the foreseeable future and we look forward to continuing to have a productive working relationship with them.”

Wiltshire Cllr Phil Alford, said: “Losing car tyre production is a real blow. I have asked Wiltshire Council for an update on what they can do to help those affected at next week’s full council meeting.”

Alistair Cunningham, Wiltshire Council’s Corporate Director Growth, Investment & Place, said: “A multi-agency taskforce has been set up and is ready to offer a range of practical help which will include training, skills development and help finding new employment. There are a number of major employers in the area and there is a high demand for skilled workers.”