Archbishop urges plant workers not to lose touch

THE Archbishop of York has urged workers losing their jobs at Rio Tinto Alcan’s Lynemouth plant to keep in touch with each other.

Earlier this month, the company confirmed that it will close the site’s smelter after a buyer could not be found. A total of 515 people will be made redundant.

Dr John Sentamu discussed the situation with senior county council officers and councillors at a meeting in Morpeth last Thursday during his two-day visit to the Diocese of Newcastle.

They also talked about the other challenges facing Northumberland, as well as the work currently being carried out by the authority to support towns, villages and residents.

After the meeting, the Archbishop said: “My message to these Alcan workers is don’t be afraid of the future. It is also important that those who have been working together to keep in contact with each other to provide support. We’re stronger when we stick together.

“I hope that something can be found to replace the smelter that works in the long-term.

“This is a lovely part of the country and it was interesting to hear how the council is trying to deal with employment issues and pressures on services. The people of Northumberland will be in my prayers.”

Northumberland County Council Leader Jeff Reid said it was an honour for the members and officers present to be able to talk at length with Dr Sentamu.

He added: “My colleagues and I had a very informative discussion with the Archbishop about the issues facing our county, including the challenges we face with the imminent closure of Alcan but also about the positive work the authority does to ensure Northumberland remains a great place to live.”