Steel industry needs more than just talk

John Pentland (red and white umbrella) on the recent #SaveOurSteel march.
John Pentland (red and white umbrella) on the recent #SaveOurSteel march.

The Scottish Government and the Scottish Steel Task Force need to be prepared to do everything possible to save the steel industry.

That is the opinion of Motherwell and Wishaw MSP John Pentland ahead of the task force’s next meeting in Hamilton tomorrow (Thursday).

Mr Pentland isn’t concerned whether a buyer is found for the Dalzell and Clydebridge works or whether it is taken on by public ownership so long as their futures are secured.

He said: “The meeting is crucial to the future of the Scottish steel industry and over 300 workers at the two plants.

“It remains to be seen whether a buyer can be found, the Scottish Government has not ruled out some form of public ownership, but there are few signs of work being undertaken to make that a realistic possibility.

“Steel workers have been given high expectations by the Scottish Government, now we need to see evidence the Scottish Government will deliver and is serious about saving the steel industry in Scotland.

“There are good reasons why it should consider doing so, steel is a strategic asset, and the fate of the plants will have significant ramifications for the future of the Scottish economy.

“The stakes are high for Scotland, and even higher for Motherwell and Wishaw, areas such as Lanarkshire struggle to get the investment they need to stimulate growth and tackle social deprivation.

“Central government provides lots of sympathy, but little concrete support, we need action to protect the jobs we have and to create new jobs.

“We need governments that use all their powers and do everything they can to address our problems, and that has to start by saving the steel industry.”