West Cumbrian MP, Jamie Reed has written to the Prime Minister calling for support for the UK steel industry. This comes as Tata Steel has announced that their UK operations are up for sale.
Jamie Reed’s full letter to the Prime Minister:
The Rt Hon David Cameron MP,
10 Downing Street
30th March, 2016
Dear Prime Minister,
Tata Steel and the UK Steel Industry
I am writing with regard to the announcement of Tata Steel’s intention to sell off their operations in the UK Steel industry. This announcement has been met with profound concern in every community with jobs reliant upon the steel industry. Local economies are often built upon foundation industries and it is concerning not just for those directly employed by Tata, but all those in the affected communities
Tata’s Chapel Bank site in Workington, West Cumbria has been a critical part of the Energy Coast economy for decades despite facing repeated challenges. The facility plays a key role in the nuclear sector in the region and, through work with supply chain businesses in the area and major nuclear partners, helps to maintain and expand the skills base necessary to cement West Cumbria’s place as world leaders in nuclear engineering. It is also now developing a nuclear supply chain business of huge value and importance to the national nuclear decommissioning programme and constitutes an important part of Britain’s Energy Coast.
When the market fails, Government has a responsibility to intervene on the behalf of those communities affected by market failure. Communities cannot be left to suffer the decline of market failure as a result of Government’s reluctance to intervene. The cumulative and knock-on impact of a closure of a facility such as Chapel Bank on the local economy would be felt for years to come and the Government has a duty to ensure this does not happen.
The announcement by Tata Steel states that the company will ‘explore all options for portfolio restructuring including the potential divestment of Tata Steel UK, in whole or in parts.’ Affected communities are now looking to Government to provide certainty and stability.
It is imperative government now acts to ensure skilled jobs in the steel industry are retained in those communities with Tata facilities.
I look forward to swift response. I am, of course, available to help in any way to ensure jobs and skills are retained in our community and will support any Government proposals that seek to do this.
Member of Parliament for Copeland