Yvette Cooper MP: Ferrybridge Power Station site needs to bring new industries and good jobs

Family budgets are under huge pressure. Energy bills are soaring and the price of everything from childcare to fish and chips is going up.

By Jane Chippindale
Thursday, 24th March 2022, 6:00 am

Yvette Cooper MP writes: Across the Five Towns, families are really struggling and the government still isn’t taking it seriously enough.

In Knottingley at the weekend, household after household told me of their concerns about rising energy bills.

One family had already seen their bills double just in the last few months. That’s not sustainable.

Sign up to our daily Wakefield Express Today newsletter

FERRYBRIDGE: No proper plan to utilise strategic site.

Other people have been in touch worried about rising prices in the shops.

Parents are worried about whether they can put food on the table, elderly people are worried about whether they can put the heating on.

For months the government has refused to act. This cost of living crisis has been building month after month.

Lots of families have already run up serious debts or run down all their savings in order to cope because ministers failed to step in.

Putin’s appalling war in Ukraine has exacerbated pressures – but as the money saving expert himself Martin Lewis said recently, these pressures on household bills were around long before the Russian invasion:

The rises in energy, heating oil, water, council tax, broadband and mobiles, food, national insurance were all in place before Ukraine.”

He’s totally right. The warning lights have been flashing for some time.

The government could have acted ages ago – as many of us were urging them to – but they’ve carried on regardless.

That’s why we’ve been calling for major support for families and pensioners across the country instead of the tax rises on ordinary working people that Boris Johnson put forward.

It’s also why we called for a windfall tax on the huge profits of the North Sea oil and gas companies so we can use that money to cut people’s energy bills.

Those companies have seen their profits shoot up as prices have risen so it is only fair to use that money to cut everyone else’s bills instead.

But what about sorting out some of the problems behind this? Why didn’t the government regulate the energy market better?

Why did it get rid of the gas storage facilities which provided the country with better security in the energy supply? Why is it still not investing in insulation for people’s homes or in renewable and alternative energy supplies?

We also need a proper plan to rebuild the British economy with new jobs in Yorkshire.

Yet despite all the talk about levelling-up, we still aren’t getting our fair share of investment in jobs in Yorkshire.

For example, where’s the plan for our strategically important Ferrybridge Power Station site?

The proud cooling towers have gone, but there is no proper plan for good jobs and new industries on that strategic site.

Local developers want to use it for warehousing – but we’ve got considerable warehousing across the Five Towns already, and we need a mix of different kinds of skilled jobs including manufacturing and green energy.

We shouldn’t have to go through crisis after crisis before the government gets its act together – people in our towns deserve a better and fairer deal than they’re getting right now.

Read More

Read More
Politically Speaking with Yvette Cooper: Our government is failing to support fa...