Appointed Vice Chair - APPG Steel
This is a crucial time for the UK steel industry, and while locally we have seen the impact of challenging global market conditions in Liberty Steel's recent announcement of potential job losses, future estimates suggest domestic demand for steel will grow. For example, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy advises that by 2030 the UK market will require an additional £4 billion a year - which gives me cause for hope.
Steel manufacturing sits at the heart of my constituency of Penistone & Stocksbridge, whether directly through manufacture, or indirectly through the interconnected supply chain activity, so important to our local communities.
I am, therefore, pleased to have been appointed as a Vice Chair of the All Parliamentary Group, (APPG), on Steel. The APPG exists to bring cross-party MPs, and other interested parties, together to give a strong voice to the UK steel sector in Parliament and more broadly across the UK.
All members of the APPG welcomed the Government’s pledges on broadening infrastructure investment beyond London, and called upon Ministers to give major infrastructure projects, such as Northern Powerhouse Rail, the green light. All agreed that core infrastructure projects have the potential to benefit people across the UK, but all also felt that more care must be given to ensure those benefits are not just seen near to the projects, but also in steel communities in our UK steel-making constituencies.
I’m very much looking forward to working with colleagues, with Unions and with the UK steel sector, amongst other things, to do what I can to ensure the Government understands the criticality of ensuring the UK’s industrial strategy is supported by procurement policies that take advantage of the high quality domestic steel that is produced by our highly skilled steel workers.