A Margam Councillor has told the Magnet he believes there isn’t anybody living in Port Talbot who won’t be affected by Tata Steel’s Monday announcement of 750 job losses.
Labour councillor Rob Jones, who also sits on the Tata Steel Joint Consultative Group, said that recent rumours of job losses at the steelworks had still not prepared anybody for the scale of the cuts.
“We knew there would be job losses, but nothing on this scale,” he said.
“I am thinking just of my own neighbours, and of the ten houses on my own little street, five of them will be directly affected in some way – there are steelworkers here, as well as people who run businesses that rely on trade from the steelworkers. When you’re out and about in Taibach and Margam, you see people having meetings in the cafes, going to local shops and cafes in their lunch breaks – all of these people will be very worried now.”
He said the inward spend in the local economy had been estimated at half a billion pounds, and that this would have knock-on effects across south Wales.
“Even in this local authority, if we start to lose businesses in the supply chain which rent units or pay business rates to the council, then that will mean a reduction in the council budget, and that comes at a time when budget cuts are already biting.”
However, he said he hoped these cuts would safeguard the future of steelmaking in the town.
“We would hope that by taking such drastic action it will save the future of the plant,” he added.