Friday, May 24, 2019
THE FUTURE OF BRITISH STEEL IN SCUNTHORPE: BRIGG COUNCILLOR IN TOP-LEVEL TALKS
Councillor Rob Waltham, from Brigg - in his role as the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council - has held top-level talks about the future of troubled Scunthorpe steelworks.
Many people in Brigg and district work for British Steel at its local plant, and are obviously worried about job security.
Many others, Brigg Blog included, are former steelworks employees, and there are hundreds of retired steelworkers living locally.
This topic is a major talking point in Brigg at present and is likely to remain so until the situation becomes clearer.
Fingers crossed that a new buyer, or buyers, can be found or some sort of agreement can be reached to keep the works operating.
It employees around 4,000 people.
FROM CHRIS O'ROURKE, NORTH LINCOLNSHIRE COUNCIL
North Lincolnshire Council Leader, Cllr Rob Waltham, met Government ministers, the British Steel management team, unions and representatives from the Official Receiver yesterday (23 May 2019) to secure a future for the steelworks in Scunthorpe.
The group discussed the potential future of the business with Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark, and Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Andrew Stephenson. They confirmed that the Government has underwritten all costs associated with running the business, securing the wages of staff on the site and payments to current trading suppliers so a buyer is sought.
Ernest Young (EY) has been appointed by the Government’s Official Receiver to sell the business and some potential buyers have already come forward.
Cllr Rob Waltham, the Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: “Although this is a worrying time for steelworkers, their families, those in supplier industries and residents across North Lincolnshire, I am confident that the Government are doing all they can to support the steelworks in Scunthorpe.
“It is important to stress that the business at British Steel is trading and jobs are protected following the Government’s financial commitment.
“Every effort needs to be made to ensure that the businesses are kept together and we have to be hopeful that a buyer can be secured for the whole site.”
The £120m Government loan secured by British Steel earlier this month to offset against carbon emissions credits remains within the business and would be available to the future owner of the steelworks.
Cllr Waltham continued: “Scunthorpe has hundreds of years of steelmaking history and we make some of the highest quality steel in the world right here at our works.
“Leading up to the sale of the steelworks, I will represent the council as part of a consultative group and do all I can to secure a bright future for Scunthorpe’s steelworks and for its workers. These are challenging times and we will need to be agile to succeed.
“We’re in the early stages of this process and I hope to have more details on this in the coming days. We have to be positive that together, with the extensive support from the Government and the passionate workers at British Steel, we can keep steelmaking in North Lincolnshire.”
PICTURED ABOVE: Secretary of State for Business, Greg Clark; Leader of North Lincolnshire Council, Cllr Rob Waltham, from Brigg; and Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Andrew Stephenson, meeting at British Steel in Scunthorpe. Picture supplied to us by North Lincolnshire Council.
BELOW: A train of torpedo ladles on the British Steel Scunthorpe works, near Brigg Road. They carry molten iron between the blastfurnaces and the BOS steelmaking plant. Picture by Brigg Blog.
GREATER LINCOLNSHIRE LEADERS BACK STEEL
Lincolnshire County Council and North East Lincolnshire Council have joined North Lincolnshire Council in signing up to the UK Steel Charter.
The charter is a UK Steel initiative that seeks to promote the use of quality British steel in construction projects.
Cllr Rob Waltham, leader of North Lincolnshire Council, said: "Scunthorpe has hundreds of years of steelmaking history and we make some of the highest quality steel in the world at our works.
"By signing up to this charter, our three councils are agreeing to take practical steps to maximise the opportunities for UK steel producers, including those in Greater Lincolnshire.
"Despite the challenging times, I'm sure that together with our colleagues in Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire, and with extensive support from the Government and the passionate workers at British Steel, we can keep steelmaking in North Lincolnshire.”
Cllr Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: "We're proud to support our colleagues in North Lincolnshire and sign up to the UK Steel Charter.
"The manufacture of British steel products isn't just important to Greater Lincolnshire – it also makes a significant contribution to the national economy, worth around £9.5bn a year.
"It's vital we secure the future of the industry and work towards a brighter future for Scunthorpe’s steelworks and its workers."
Cllr Philip Jackson, leader of North East Lincolnshire Council, added: "North East Lincolnshire is ready to play its part in strengthening the UK's steel industry.
"Like our neighbouring councils, we'll do our utmost to promote the use of UK-produced steel in construction and infrastructure projects, supporting highly paid, skilled manufacturing jobs and training opportunities in Greater Lincolnshire's communities."