QUESTION marks have been raised over how successful Warrington’s economy really is.

Philip Cox, chief executive of Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP), provided an update on the development of the local industrial strategy during last Wednesday’s scrutiny committee meeting at the Town Hall.

He confirmed the local industrial strategy should be published in July.

Mr Cox said: “The local industrial strategy is a joint document between us and the Government.

“The fact that it is as much a Government document, as much as it is our document, does have an impact on the timetable.

“We have substantially completed evidence gathering stage.”

The LEP is aiming to transform the area into a £50 billion economy by 2040 by focusing on key sectors, while delivering the funding programmes for which it has responsibility.

But, after taking a look at a graph presented by Mr Cox, committee chairman Cllr Peter Carey raised concerns.

He said: “We, in this council, have often been told what a booming economy we have got in Warrington and the growth rate is second to none.

“But what I am sort of picking up from that graph is that the jobs that have been created are basically low-wage jobs not producing product, but producing services, such as packages for Amazon.

“Really, that is a reflection that the economy in Warrington is based on that very low-wage base and is not as prosperous as, maybe, we are sometimes led to believe.”

However, Mr Cox moved to calm his concerns.

He said: “I wouldn’t put it quite like that.

“It is prosperous, it is booming, it is creating lots of jobs.

“Cheshire and Warrington, as a whole, is producing more than the UK average but part of our local industrial strategy should be about moving up the value chain.”