Readers’ letters - February 5

A reader says steel used in the HS2 project should  be made in the UK. See letter
A reader says steel used in the HS2 project should be made in the UK. See letter

Scandalous indifference

Only a few weeks after the closure of the Redcar steelworks, and the loss of thousands of jobs in the steel works at Port Talbot, Scunthorpe, Rotherham and Sheffield, the Chancellor George Osborne has specifically asked China to tender for the supply of steel for the forthcoming HS2 (High Speed Rail project).

This project will need literally millions of tonnes of steel over a period of time, with 
a multi-million pound (if 
not multi-billion pound) value.

Keeping the production of this steel in the UK would present a golden opportunity to revive our steel industry.

I am not a ‘political animal’, and like thousands of people I am disillusioned with most of the politicians, but I am strongly in favour of fairness. I have never worked in the steel industry, but feel very strongly about the decline in UK industry and the misery it causes to the employees who lose their jobs.

The message Osborne has sent to the UK steel industry, by personally requesting China to tender, is that the process will not be on a ‘level-playing field’ for all.

It seems to me that Osborne is obsessed by balancing the books as fast as possible (I agree that he should balance the books, but slower) and has no thought for the consequences to UK industry and its workforce.

We may not be able to match China’s steel prices, but by keeping people in work and not having to pay benefits, should help bridge that gap.

I have therefore started a petition on the Government website, which reads: “All steel used in the HS2 project should be made in UK steel plants”.

I need 100,000 signatures to force a debate in the House of Commons.

I would like to think that this will help keep the steel production and, as such, the jobs, in the UK.

Please help – we really do need to highlight Osborne’s indifference to both UK industry and UK jobs – it really is scandalous!

Bob Lax,

Address supplied

Help trust help parents

Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to appreciate the support you receive from your loved ones.

Commercial gifts aside, it helps you say those things that otherwise might go unspoken in the midst of everyday life.

For couples caring for seriously ill children, this is more important than ever.

Rainbow Trust Children’s Charity supports over 1,900 families who are caring for a child with a life-threatening or terminal illness.

The pressure this brings to parents is unimaginable as they support each other through an onslaught of practical and emotional challenges.

Rainbow Trust helps the whole family in whatever way it can.

It might be looking after the sick child to enable parents to take a break and enjoy a calm meal together, or helping parents talk about what is happening to their family and the impact this is having on them as individuals and as a couple.

This Valentine’s Day I am asking readers to make a donation to our charity, which relies almost entirely on voluntary donations. Please donate £5 – the cost of a Valentine’s box of chocolates – to help Rainbow Trust support even more couples and give them the break they so desperately need on February 14?

To find out more about Rainbow Trust and make a Valentine’s donation, visit or call 01372 363438.

Anne Harris

Director of Care at Rainbow Trust