Skip to main content

Bidston Steelworks (Closure)

Volume 79: debated on Monday 20 May 1985

The text on this page has been created from Hansard archive content, it may contain typographical errors.

4.5 pm

I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 10, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,

"the proposed closure of the Bidston steelworks in Birkenhead."
My request is specific, because it relates to an announcement of closure made on Friday. It is urgent, because the closure will take place in an area where unemployment is already more than 40 per cent. It is important to have the debate, because it would allow me to illustrate how the proposed closure of Bidston steelworks is contrary to two central planks of Government policy. First, the Government say that they believe in competition, but Allied Steel is trying to buy Bidston steelworks only with the aim of closing a competitor. Secondly, the Government say that they are firmly committed to the private sector, yet Allied Steel, which is half owned by the British Steel Corporation, is using taxpayers' money to destroy jobs in Birkenhead.

Above all, I hope that my application will be successful because it will allow me to express at greater length the anger in our town following the announcement that those jobs will be snatched from our area and transferred to the south.

The hon. Gentleman asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that he believes should have urgent consideration, namely,

"the proposed closure of the Bidston steelworks in Birkenhead."
I fully understand the hon. Gentleman's anxiety, and I listened carefully to what he said, but I regret that I do not consider that the matter which he has raised is appropriate fo discussion under Standing Order No. 10, and I cannot, therefore, submit his application to the House.