Hull MPs criticise Government for failing to close Siemens deal
HULL'S MPs have united to criticise the Government's failure to secure Siemens' investment in the city.
Alan Johnson, MP for Hull West and Hessle, said the energy giant had been left with a feeling there was "a question mark over the Government's long-term commitment to renewables".
His comments come just weeks after Siemens announced it would wait until January before taking a final decision on construction of its proposed £80m wind turbine factory at Alexandra Dock.
The facility would create hundreds of jobs locally and thousands more in related business.
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Mr Johnson said: "Siemens is looking to make a big investment in my constituency.
"I've got a feeling that if we (Labour) had been in power then we'd have wrapped it up months ago.
"There's a real issue about the basic competency of Ministers."
Hull North MP Diana Johnson said: "Alan Johnson is right. Hull's MPs have been on to the Government regularly in the past year about the importance of closing the deal on Siemens.
"But we keep getting totally contrary messages from different senior people in the coalition, casting doubt on the Government's long-term commitment to the offshore wind turbine industry.
"Private investors in green energy need a decent level of confidence about central Government's commitment, just as much as Hull needs the jobs they offer."
Hull East MP Karl Turner said: "Mr Cameron needs to get on the phone and speak directly to Siemens and give them the assurances they are looking for."
The criticism reflects widespread concern that perceived hostility to renewable energy in some parts of the Government could delay or threaten future investment in Hull.
But several senior figures, including the Prime Minister and his deputy, Nick Clegg, have recently backed Siemens' plans.
Earlier this month, Business Minister Michael Fallon said £30m in Regional Growth Fund cash for the Humber was a sign the Govern- ment wanted to "close the deal".
The Government claimed it was "fully behind" the Siemens project.
A spokesman for the Department of Energy and Climate Change said: "It's important for Hull and for the UK's ambitions on renewable energy. Our commitment to developing the UK offshore wind resource is as strong as ever and we've made clear that ensuring this delivers growth and jobs is at the heart of the Government's agenda.
"We will continue to work with Siemens at all levels of Government to deliver this project."