Invite for PM to see potential
PRIME Minister David Cameron has been invited to Hull in a bid to see the city's potential for economic growth.
East Yorkshire has been hit by a series of job losses in the past couple of weeks.
The latest blow came this week when American hygiene giant Kimberly-Clark annou- nced plans to close its Barton factory, which could see 500 workers, many of them from Hull and the East Riding, losing their jobs.
Siemens' plans to build a wind turbine factory in the city, creating 800 jobs and thousands more in the supply chain, has now become even more crucial.
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Hull City Council leader Steve Brady has written to Mr Cameron, urging him to visit the city before the end of the year.
He said: "I have sent an invitation to the Prime Minister to visit the region and have constructive talks.
"We want to let him see the docks and the proposed site for the Siemens factory.
"Hopefully, we can discuss some of the problems facing the area and what training needs there are to tackle unemployment.
"But we also want him to see what positive impact the green industry can have here and how we have young, skilled workers."
The announcement by Kimberly-Clark is the third major blow to East Yorkshire in days. Seven Seas has announced plans to close its Hull site with the loss of 259 jobs and 50 workers at frozen food factory McCain are in danger of losing their jobs.
Kimberly-Clark's announ- cement brings the total number of potential job losses across the region to almost 800 in less than two weeks.
The factory was set up 20 years ago with a public subsidy of £12m – a grant that would be worth £20m in today's prices.
Cllr Brady feels a change in legislation is needed to make it more difficult for international companies to leave.
He said: "The company should be looking at what it can put back into the community before it leaves.
"In other countries, companies are not just allowed to leave immediately.
"But we hope the company will have a commitment to its workforce and make every effort to attract another firm to move onto the site."
The firm has made the decision to drop the Huggies nappy range in Britain and the plant is likely to be closed by March. There are 378 people directly employed, with a further 120 involved in contracted logistics operations exclusive to the Barton factory.
With no official union representation, the 90 days' official consultation is likely to start in November once more members have been elected to the plant council.