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Council leader demands explanation for Coryton workers
2:41pm Monday 11th June 2012 in News
THURROCK Council’s leader is demanding a “proper explanation” as to why the Government hasn’t stepped in to save Coryton oil refinery.
In a letter to Charles Hendry, the minister of state for the Department for Energy and Climate Change, cllr Kent calls for an “urgent meeting” between ministers and local representatives.
Cllr Kent said: “There is increasing concern and distress in the community I serve that the Government is failing to explain its decision not to step in and help save the Petroplus refinery and the 850 jobs that exist there.
“ I would appreciate the chance, with others, to put the case that is being made, and the questions being asked, directly to you.
“As I understand it, a request for a meeting from the representatives of the employees, Unite the Union, has been refused by ministers.
“That leaves employees and the wider community without a proper explanation from the Government for the decision not to act to save not only hundreds of jobs, but also an important part of national energy infrastructure. “ Cllr Kent said people in south Essex are confused as to why four other European refineries in the Petroplus group were saved, and not Coryton, which is the most profitable.
He said: “It continues to be a puzzle to people here in South Essex why the Government would not take every opportunity possible to prevent the closure.
“The British government appears to be blaming the European Union for their failure to act when government intervention in France has led to the refinery at Petit Couronne being successfully rescued.
“In short there is a widely held view that the Government is failing to stand up for British jobs when their European partners are acting decisively to save their jobs and preserve their vital infrastructure.”