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Tata Steel job losses a ‘hammer-blow’ for Port Talbot

November 23, 2012 4:56 PM

The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has responded with alarm to the news that the bulk of the 584 jobs that Tata Steel will be shedding in South Wales will come from their plant in Port Talbot.

Mr Black said:-

"This is a hammer-blow for local families and for the local economy. Not only is Tata Steel far and away the largest private-sector employer in Port Talbot and the surrounding area, but the loss of purchasing power represented by these jobs will be felt by other businesses in the region.

"Such news would be devastating at any time, but in the run-up to Christmas, the individuals and families affected will be feeling particularly anxious and vulnerable.

"While I welcome the fact that Tata Steel and the Welsh Government are establishing a joint task force to identify ways of supporting local people and communities at this time, the local council needs to be part of that task force too.

"In addition, the Welsh Government must re-double its efforts to come up with a proper strategy to encourage job creation in the manufacturing sector both in and around Port Talbot and throughout Wales.

"Such a strategy needs to focus on encouraging the development of new small businesses as well as on inward investment. Small businesses employ the vast bulk of working people in our region. That is why they need better encouragement, support, and most crucially, financial investment. I will be raising the question of what help can be offered with the Minister at the earliest opportunity."