As the granddaughter of a steelworker, I was so proud to be able to show off our steelworks in Scunthorpe to Alok Sharma, the new Secretary of State for Business. This was his first visit after his appointment, which I believe shows his and the Government's determination to do their best to save our steelworks.
The visit took place before talks with high-level stakeholders. I believe it is important for him to see with his own eyes the work our proud men and women do in the Steelworks and to feel the heat on his face in the rod mill. Standing on the viewing platform, feeling the heat and watching the glowing metal rods below, you couldn’t fail to realise the value of what we do and how much our steelworkers put into their job.
During his visit, I told the Minister how important keeping our steelworks is to our community. Our steelworks isn't only our largest local employer, it is a source of identity, a source of history, and a source of pride. Walking through those different sites, many of which I could recognise from my childhood, I realised how much the Steelworks, driven by hard-working steelworkers like my grandfather, plays a part in the lives of everyone who grows up and lives in this area.
Today's visit serves not only as an eye-opener for the Secretary of State, who had since said he would "work to secure a positive future for the business and its employees." It is also a reminder for myself that so much is at stake and that there is so much to do to help secure our steelworks.
I will continue to follow up with the Secretary of State and the Business department, and I will work with UK Steel, the voice of the steel industry, to make sure that our steelworks are secured.
The Scunthorpe Telegraph has since written an article about the Minister's visit, which you can find here: