Letters - October 23, 2015

Anti austerity protestors stand outside the Tata site in Scunthorpe. Tata Steel has announced 1,200 job cuts at sites in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire later this morning. See rossparry copy RPYSTEEL: Unions have spoken out after Tata Steel announced nearly 1,200 job losses at plants in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire. Nine hundred jobs will go at the firm's plant in Scunthorpe, North Lincs., while the remaining 270 jobs will go in Scotland. Paul McBean, lead rep for steel union Community, and who works at the Scunthorpe site, said: "We have been told there are 1,200 jobs to go throughout Longs which equates to about 800 people in Scunthorpe."

Anti austerity protestors stand outside the Tata site in Scunthorpe. Tata Steel has announced 1,200 job cuts at sites in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire later this morning. See rossparry copy RPYSTEEL: Unions have spoken out after Tata Steel announced nearly 1,200 job losses at plants in Scunthorpe and Lanarkshire. Nine hundred jobs will go at the firm's plant in Scunthorpe, North Lincs., while the remaining 270 jobs will go in Scotland. Paul McBean, lead rep for steel union Community, and who works at the Scunthorpe site, said: "We have been told there are 1,200 jobs to go throughout Longs which equates to about 800 people in Scunthorpe."

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Have your say

TRANSPORT

Stop pinning blame on central policies

Back to trams again, and it’s a shame Mr Rushworth can’t get over his election defeat, and is still losing the argument over tram passes (Your Say, October 19).

If this was such a great idea, why wasn’t it in Labour’s national manifesto? Anyone who has followed Paul Maynard’s tireless work on this issue knows the option Cat Smith put forward at Prime Minister’s question time was something Paul called for a long time ago.

Despite numerous letters, the County Council have refused to meet with Paul to discuss his proposals. Lancashire is the only authority covering a tram network that doesn’t choose already to make concessionary fares available to residents – so if other transport authorities can make this simple choice to enable the elderly and disabled to travel on local trams, why can’t Lancashire?

Labour needs to stop pinning the blame for their every shortcoming on central Government, and make use of the chance for Lancashire County Council (LCC) and Blackpool Council (Wyre Borough Council is not a transport authority, therefore has no funding from LCC) to work together to come up with an integrated concessionary card scheme.

How hard can it be for the local Labour leaders to work together for a change?

Coun Howard J Ballard

Bourne Ward for Wyre Borough Council

EUROPE

No to a trip on Euro magical mystery tour

Blaise Tapp’s item (EU referendum looks like being a bore draw, Gazette, October 17 ), attempting to link UKIP with the various “No” groups, is disingenuous.

The referendum is about our COUNTRY – it is not about ANY political party. The question defined by the Electoral Commission is “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?”

People often say that we will be “heading into the unknown” if we leave. I can guarantee we will be heading into the unknown if we vote to stay – we will have no idea or control over the quality or quantity of people arriving from any other EU country, we will be unable to prevent the admission of more countries to the EU, and we will continue to have little influence over an aggressive EU foreign policy.

I want to trade with Europe and the rest of the world. I want to hold our politicians to account in national elections. I do not want to be a minor component in an expanding super-state. I do not, in short, want to sign up for the “European Magical Mystery Tour”.

Name and address supplied

INDUSTRY

Government cannot halt global forces

Job losses in Britain’s steel industry are a tragedy for the workers concerned. However, to blame the government is to fly in the face of the facts.

In1851, Britain produced 51 per cent of the world’s output. Today it accounts for only seven per cent of European production.

In 1980, the industry employed some 100,000. Today, only 31,000 are directly employed in the industry, and that number is falling.

The price of steel has halved since 2011, and by 25 per cent since March this year. The same is true of other commodities like copper and zinc. In January 2015, steel was $480 a tonne, today it is $136. The key reason is that China, which produces more steel than all other states combined, has switched its growth model from exports to domestic needs in order to meet the demands of a growing wealthy middle class.

Tragic though the job losses are , Britain’s steel industry will never return to its halcyon days. Globalization and a host of other economic factors are the cause of steel’s decline.

All governments share part of the blame, but no government can beat global forces of the kind that have swept the world since 1985. The fulcrum of world power is steadily moving eastwards.

Dr B A Clayton

Fieldfare Close

Thornton Cleveleys

CHARITY

Raise awareness with a short film

I would like to make your readers aware of a film competition for children and young people to help raise awareness of Type 1 diabetes.

The Diabetes in School Short Film competition is open to all students aged 11 to 17 in Blackpool who are invited to submit a short, three-minute film sharing their experiences of life with diabetes in school.

Getting involved is really easy. You don’t have to have diabetes or previous film making experience to participate. All you need is a smartphone or tablet with a video and creative flair! Winners will receive prizes for themselves and their school.

To apply, visit: diabetes.org.uk/short-film-competition

The competition closes on 16 November.

Stephen Ryan

Diabetes UK Regional Manager