Brewers deny 24-hour working on cards

BOSSES at Greene King have denied claims that the company is planning to operate throughout the night after borough councillors paved the way for extended working hours.

BOSSES at Greene King have denied claims that the company is planning to operate throughout the night after borough councillors paved the way for extended working hours.

St Edmundsbury Borough Council's development control committee yesterday agreed proposals to allow a night maintenance shift in the draught beer building of the Bury St Edmunds' brewers.

Though the move would not mean any increased production at night at present, some councillors voiced concerns that this could lead to the company eventually operating 24 hours a day.

But the company's communications manager Frances Brace said they would not be looking to extend their production despite a deterioration in the national brewery trade.


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Miss Brace said: "We welcome the council's decision, it will allow us to make the best use of our daytime working hours.

"But the decision does not set a precedent for 24-hour working. All it means is we can work a night maintenance shift. It is the equivalent to supermarket workers stacking shelves at night."

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Though the night maintenance shift in the Westgate brewery would only operate between production hours, councillors asked for a 12-month trial with only four people working at any one time and all external doors closed.

During the meeting, Cllr Mike Ames, whose Abbeygate ward covers the brewery, said: "I feel another application will come up asking for the company to move to a 24-hour operation."

Cllr Les Button, of the Northgate ward, added: "I have my doubts about this application because it could lead to a 24-hour operation.

"Therefore I would like to see the application only granted on a 12-month basis."

But speaking after the meeting, a second Abbeygate ward member, Brian Lockwood, said he didn't necessarily feel the council's decision would open the door for round the clock production.

Cllr Lockwood added: "Greene King are moving forward and they need more hours to produce what they produce.

"They are stuck in the wrong place but if they have to work three shifts over 24 hours, that is the way it has to be."

Councillors heard concerns from one resident living in the neighbouring Saxongate housing development.

The unnamed resident said they already had to tolerate a certain level of noise, but they were worried this would increase during the night in what they described as a quiet area.

To appease any worries from residents, the brewery carried out noise measurement exercises in December.

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