First meeting of Scottish Steel Task Force

Taskforce_for_webThe Scottish Steel Task Force met for the first time in Hamilton yesterday and agreed to work urgently to find an alternative operator for Tata Steel’s plants at Dalzell and Clydebridge.

The Task Force brings together key partners to co-ordinate the development of a joint, multi-agency Economic Recovery Plan to mitigate the economic impacts to the area resulting from Tata Steel’s announcement that it will close the plants.

Members of the Task Force were updated on the range of efforts find a viable future for the two plants.

Councillor Jim McCabe, leader of North Lanarkshire Council, said: “The demise of the steel industry has had a dire effect on Lanarkshire. However, after today’s meeting I remain hopeful that we can work together to find a viable future.

“It’s imperative that we do all we can and the council will continue to play a full and active part in the taskforce.”

Business Minister Fergus Ewing, who chaired the meeting, said: “The first meeting of the Task Force was a chance for all members to agree that our primary focus is to secure an alternative operator for the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants and retain as many jobs as possible.”

The Task Force will meet again on November 13.

SNP MSP for Central Scotland Clare Adamson described the meeting as a “positive first step in securing a future for our iconic steel industry” in Lanarkshire.

She added: “This is obviously a deeply worrying time for the entire workforce at the sites – but in light of today’s meeting, I can assure them that every party involved – the Government, trade unions, the local councils and industry bodies – remain resolutely determined to protect both plants.

“The focus of the task force is very much on saving the Dalzell and Clydebridge plants and securing the jobs of the 270 people affected by the mothballing. And today’s meeting has only strengthened my confidence that the Scottish Government will leave no stone unturned in their efforts to keep these plants open and to protect our steel industry.”

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