Council Reacts To Steelworks Closure
The Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Council and the Chair of the SSI Task Force have issued statements.
Councillor Sue Jeffrey, the Leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council said: “This is the worst possible news and is an absolutely heart-breaking moment for all of us. Our proud history of years of steelmaking has been torn out from under us. We have been so proud of our heritage and I cannot believe it has slipped away in the space of a few weeks.
So many people have been affected by the closure – the steelworkers and their families, the supply chain and the wider economic impact this will have on our local area. It is devastating. We have already committed to doing everything we possibly can as a council to support the men and women in our communities who have lost their jobs and have had their lives turned upside down. The Government has had plenty of opportunities to intervene but it has just allowed this to happen – it should have stepped in sooner to help. The £80million package provided is simply not enough, especially as it will also fund the redundancy payments.
Any decision around the long-term future of the site should have come after the Steel Summit on Friday. This future of steelmaking in the Tees Valley should have been a focal point of those discussions. What is the point of making this decision prior to those talks?
“We now need to look at if the hard closure takes place as has been indicated, how we look to secure the site for the future and bring it back to contributing towards the economy in Redcar.”
Chair of the SSI Task Force and Chief Executive of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Amanda Skelton said: "Understandably, todays announcement is extremely distressing for the SSI workforce, their families, our communities and economy. Task Force members are working hard to support the workforce at this very difficult time. The help that has already been on hand during the last week will continue over the next weeks and months. Rapid employment advice, such as help with job applications and CVs, is already in place. The financial consequences of closure will hit many families hard. That’s why it’s important that we’re also able to give specialist money and benefits advice to everyone affected.
The Task Force is also looking at what we can do now to tackle the longer term challenge of restructuring our local economy. We want to secure sustainable jobs for current and future generations of people.”
An SSI Jobs Fair on Wednesday at the Redcar Leisure & Community Heart has up to 30 potential employers participating, with around 700 job vacancies available. It is running from 10am-4pm.