Politicians express concern as steel chiefs close unprofitable Flintshire business

Reporter:

Helen Davies

POLITICIANS, and community leaders have voiced their concerns about the latest threat to jobs in North Wales.

As the Leader reported yesterday, Tata Steel plans to close its Living Solutions business in Shotton, with the loss of 180 posts.

The company, previously known as Corus, said the business had never been profitable since it was set up in 2003.

The move follows news earlier this month that carton manufacturer Tetra Pak is to cease production at Wrexham Industrial Estate.

North Wales Liberal Democrat AM Eleanor Burnham said the Tata announcement was bad news for manufacturing in the region.

She said: “Coming on top of the 150 job losses at Tetra Pak in Wrexham, it is a double blow for the region and the workers.

“I have questioned the First Minister on the condition of manufacturing in North Wales and I have also asked for an urgent debate on the subject.

“I have been in discussion with representatives from Tetra Pak and will soon be speaking with Andrew Black at Tata Steel Building Systems.”

Mark Isherwood, Conservative AM for North Wales, said he was also disappointed with the news of yet more job losses for the region.

He said: “As someone who worked on Deeside for many years, I know how much the Shotton Steel plant is at the heart of the community and how devastating waves of job losses have been over the last several decades.

“North East Wales needs world class manufacturing for a world class workforce.”

Brynford Cllr Matt Wright, executive member for regeneration at Flintshire Council, said the authority had access to a “Rapid Response to Redundancy” team to offer workers support in the event of major redundancies.

A consultation process is due to take place with trade unions and employee representatives, and with all employees on an individual basis.

Tata has said it will look at redeploying employees and support those leaving the business.

The company says the closure of Living Solutions will not affect its other businesses in Shotton, which include Tata Steel Colors, Panels and Profiles.

See full story in the Leader

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