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Power station war of words over closure blow
8:00am Sunday 25th August 2013 in News
A WAR of words has broken out between two senior politicians after the closure of Tilbury Power Station.
John Kent, leader of Thurrock Council, slammed Government ministers for “not deeming the case important enough to intervene” meaning its closure and the loss of hundreds of jobs was inevitable.
However, Jackie Doyle-Price, MP for Thurrock, said Cllr Kent’s comments were “really unfair” and said blaming the Government was wrong.
The biomass power station reached the end of its generation last Tuesday and signalled the end of the line for workers who have already been handed redundancy packages and will be out of work when the station officially closes on October 31.
Mr Kent said he was “disappointed” at the decision and was concerned as such a high percentage of the workers were local people.
He said: “I feel personally for each and every one of those people who no longer has a job at the power station – and their families too.
“It is a blow to Thurrock’s regeneration plans, but not a fatal one – we will keep attracting new businesses here whatever the setbacks.”
There were plans for a new power station to be built at the station, but plans were shelved after it became clear they were not feasible due to cost-cutting.
Cllr Kent added: “What disappoints me is the minister did not deem this case important enough to intervene.
“A little bit of positive interest from the Government would have been followed by more private support for RWE NPower’s bid to keep the power station open.”
However, Ms Doyle-Price, who said she was “gutted” when the station closed last week, said: “It is really unfair for John Kent to say the minister has shown no interest. The minister has had many discussions with me and the board of NPower.
“Furthermore, the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer expressed concern that this project was in jeopardy.
“We are all sad and disappointed at this turn of events, but it isn’t fair to blame the Government.”
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