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Tata Plant (Scunthorpe)

Volume 529: debated on Thursday 9 June 2011

13. What steps he plans to take to support those affected by job losses at the Tata plant in Scunthorpe. (57791)

Of course, we were very disappointed to hear the news. It will be a worrying time for the workers affected, but I reassure the hon. Gentleman that the Jobcentre Plus rapid response service and the Skills Funding Agency are working with Tata Steel to support workers at the Scunthorpe plant.

I thank the Minister for his response. It would be good if he or the Secretary of State could come to Scunthorpe to see the situation first hand. Will the Government be bidding for European globalisation adjustment funds, for which the situation in Scunthorpe is eligible?

I pay tribute to the hon. Gentleman for his efforts. He has met the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, my hon. Friend the Member for Hertford and Stortford (Mr Prisk), and I am sure that he welcomed the announcement by my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State of the taskforce, on which the hon. Gentleman is serving. It is for the taskforce to come up with ideas not just for the regional growth fund but for European funding. If the taskforce can put together a bid, I am sure that it will get the Department’s support.

Members of Parliament across north Lincolnshire are working together closely on this important issue, which affects all of our constituents. Does it not demonstrate that the creation of a pan-Humber local enterprise partnership, which was recently agreed, is a positive step forward? We now need to send in our application and hopefully get Government approval for this pan-Humber LEP in order to support the renewables industry.

We were delighted to be able to announce yesterday the decision on a new Humber estuary local enterprise partnership, which I am sure will play a positive role. I am sure that my hon. Friend would not expect me to say whether the enterprise zone will be awarded, but clearly the taskforce and the LEP are in a good position to represent that area.