Extend Taskforce funding to Boulby potash workers, says Redcar MP

Labour MP for Redcar, Anna Turley, has called for the remit of the SSI Taskforce to be extended to support workers being made redundant at Boulby potash mine.

Anna has written to the Chair of the Taskforce, Redcar & Cleveland council Chief Executive Amanda Skelton, to ask for the option to be explored so that redundant workers can receive retraining support.

She said:

“This latest round of job losses at Boulby potash mine takes the total to more than 500 which is a huge blow to the local economy and those jobs are not going to be quickly replaced.

“When the government closed our steelworks, the Taskforce was set up to help the thousands of people made unemployed. The loss of hundreds more industrial jobs at Boulby has increased the pain. The support package needs to be urgently extended, even more so than it was two years ago when we made the same call.”



Text of Anna’s letter:

Dear Amanda,     

I am writing regarding the announced restructure at Boulby potash mine in our borough, and the impact of hundreds of further job losses on local families and the local economy. As Chief Executive of the borough council and Chair of the SSI Taskforce, I know you are well aware of the effect of losing industrial jobs has on our community. To lose such a large number of skilled jobs, first at the steelworks and then in previous workforce reductions at Boulby mine, was enough of a painful blow without these further losses.

It is important that as a community we now do everything in our power to support those workers affected and their families. I welcome the commitment our council leader Cllr Sue Jeffrey has already made for the council to work with ICL and the trade unions to support the people affected. I hope that negotiation and the future potential of the facility as a polyhalite mine will help to minimise the number of redundancies.

However, the workers made redundant will need support finding new work, and retraining if required. I ask that we explore the use of remaining funds provided to the SSI Taskforce to support people into new work. I understand this may require approval of central government and would make representations in favour if this is the case. In 2015 when ICL announced job losses, the then MP for East Cleveland Tom Blenkinsop and I made a similar call on government to extend the Taskforce's remit in light of the scale of the job losses. I believe this is even more necessary now that hundreds more people face losing their job.      

I look forward to speaking to you further about this matter at the earliest convenience.                     

Kind regards            

Anna Turley MP

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