SOUTH Wales local authorities are supporting calls for Tata Steel to receive urgent support to ensure it can withstand pressures caused by the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.
Of the 4,000 people employed by Tata Steel, many are resident across the whole of the South Wales region, not just in Neath Port Talbot. Recent research estimates more than 6,000 additional full-time equivalent jobs supported in the Tata supply chain, many of them small-to-medium sized enterprises. The local authority Leaders emphasised that if steel making were put in jeopardy, the effects would be felt by future generations for decades to come throughout much of South Wales.
Neath Port Talbot Council Leader, Rob Jones said: “Steel remains of critical importance to the local and regional economies. Local authority Leaders are in close contact with Welsh Ministers on what can be done to assist at a national Welsh level and locally; but it is clear that the primary responsibility lies with the UK Government to avert a crisis. The loyal workforce should not pay the price for inaction.”
Bridgend Council Leader, Huw David added: “While the steelworks are based in Port Talbot, many residents of Bridgend and the wider region rely on it to provide them with a livelihood, as the plant has for generations. The loss of the Ford engine plant has already had a massive impact upon the region, and every effort is needed to avoid a similar outcome here.”
Carmarthenshire County Council Leader, Cllr Emlyn Dole, underlined: “Llanelli has a long and proud tradition in steel and tin plate production, and its name Tinopolis is still widely and fondly used. The town’s Trostre plant has been a mainstay of the local economy for many years and recent job losses in the town make it more important that no stone is left unturned to assist Tata get through this period of unprecedented difficulty as production and orders have reduced significantly.”