22-Redcar-steel-plant-PAA MOTION declaring Middlesbrough’s “unconditional support to the Redcar steelworkers and their families” will be put at tonight’s full Council meeting.

A call for a full inquiry into the handling of the matter will also be proposed along with 13 questions for the Government to answer.

Middlesbrough’s Deputy Mayor Cllr Charlie Rooney will put the urgent motion regarding the SSI closure forward before opening a debate.

In it he says: “In light of the devastating and avoidable closure of the steelworks at Redcar, this Council gives its unconditional support to the Redcar steelworkers and their families.

“As a Council, we will do all we can to support the workers back into employment, and urge the Government to take their responsibilities to Teesside seriously, providing the proper resources to the Taskforce and directing more employment opportunities to the region.

“The Council also has a duty to scrutinise the events which have led to the avoidable and tragic demise of steel-manufacturing on the banks of the Tees.

“The closure of one of Europe’s largest and most modern steel plants will have a devastating impact on our wider industrial base, the supply chain, on our communities and to our industrial heritage.

“Therefore, we resolve to write to the Prime Minister, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, the Minister for Local Growth and the Northern Powerhouse and Minister for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise, calling for a full enquiry into the handling of the matter, and demanding answers to the following questions:

Was there an offer from a local company to run the coke ovens?

How much would mothballing cost vs massive loss of assets to sell?

When did the Government know of looming disaster?

What is the justification for the receiver only taking ten days to decide the future of the plant?

Did the Government instruct the receiver during the process?

Did the receiver have any dialogue with local suppliers, unions, industry and the task force?

Did the receiver have any dialogue with international industry?

Are any plans in place to pursue SSI or inheritor companies for debts knowingly incurred and assets deliberately stripped?

Are there, or have there been, any attempts at due diligence of companies running vital industries and their willingness or capability to ensure proper treatment of workers and investments?

Is any form of state intervention under any circumstances really against EU rules as repeatedly stated?

Would any EU funds been available if asked for?

Why close now when national steel summit is on Friday 16th?

Will the Government be pushing for SSI to be investigated over its handling of its pension contributions?”

Members of the public are welcome to attend the debate which will be held at Middlesbrough Town Hall’s Council Chamber tonight (Wednesday, October 14) from 7pm. Access is via the quadrangle.

Residents of Middlesbrough affected by the SSI closure can find information on their rights, employment opportunities, welfare and other assistance on the Middlesbrough Council website at www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/ssi