THE Leader of Thurrock Council says he fears for the impact the closure of Tilbury Power Station today (13 August) will have.
Cllr Kent issued a statement while on holiday, saying he was “disappointed” the government had not seen fit to help save the jobs and he was particularly concerned as such a high percentage of the workers were local people.
“I’ve said it before and sadly I’ll say it again no doubt, I have personally experienced redundancy and it isn’t nice. 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.”
He added: “Although we are starting to attract new jobs to the borough, but I know that’s no consolation for the husbands, wives, children and mums and dads hit by this.
“It is a blow to Thurrock’s regeneration plans – but not a fatal one – we will keep attracting new businesses here whatever the setbacks.”
Cllr Kent said: “I wrote to the minister back in July pointing out that Thurrock Council ‘remains committed to playing its full part in generating local growth and providing high quality new jobs, but we are unable to keep pace with the repeated loss of major employers to national economic factors’.
“I said my main concern was the impact it would have on Thurrock’s residents and economy, especially as it’s little more than a year since the Petroplus Refinery site closed and that remains the case.
“But Thurrock Council is determined to ensure we bring new investment and new jobs to the borough. This is a blow to our regeneration plans – but not a fatal one. We will overcome this setback.”
He said: “What really disappoints me is that the minister did not deem this case important enough to intervene. I’m certain that a little bit of positive interest from the national government would have been followed by more private support for RWE npower’s bid to keep the power station open and contributing to the nation’s coffers rather than closing and proving a drain on resources.”