WORK is starting on helping workers who lose their jobs following the announcement that Coryton Refinery is on the brink of closure.
An announcement by the site’s administrators on Monday says they are about to start consulting on a shutdown – and the plant has only a week’s supply of crude oil left to refine.
Cllr John Kent, Leader of Thurrock Council, said: “We would be very disappointed if all the hard work by the administrators finished here, but it seems there is still some hope as the administrators say they are still looking for new buyers.
“If the worst happens it will have severe impacts on the borough, not just the staff immediately affected and their families, but those involved in the supply chain and further afield too and that is why this is the time for us to prepare.
“Thurrock Council cannot ‘save’ Coryton, but it can and will do everything in its power to ease the impact of any closure of the refinery.
“We will be setting up a Taskforce this week backed by the Government bringing together as many agencies as possible and co-ordinating their actions in the best interests of Thurrock and the people living and working here.
“Top of that agenda must be helping the people facing this bleak future, and I know just how distressing this can be as it has happened to me. These workers, these families need our help and I am determined they’ll get it..”
He added: “We must also talk to the government about immediate funding for an Economic Impact Assessment to ensure the full facts of the issue are available for those working on possible solutions.”