Navy cuts could hit Rotherham jobs, warning

SKILLED workers in Rotherham will be hit if government proposals to slash spending on Royal Navy submarines goes ahead, Rotherham MP Denis MacShane has warned.

Dr MacShane raised his concerns in the House of Commons in a debate on the future of the armed services, listing the following Rotherham firms— Lowe Group, Mogul Engineers, Necta and Olympus NDT UK—as those likely to suffer.

The firms make parting and other components for the new Astute submarines currently being built in Barrow and are likely to be involved in supplying parts for new submarines planned to carry Britain's nuclear deterrent.

Dr MacShane said that the Government’s decision to cut spending would “directly damage employment in Rotherham.”

The MP added that Sheffield Forgemasters, which employs workers from Rotherham, were also contractors for the submarine work in Barrow.

“Nick Clegg seems to have an obsession with Sheffield Forgemasters,” he added.

“His decision to cut the £80 million loan is now followed up by cutting money for core defence work.

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“It is another blow to South Yorkshire's engineering skill base and the region's future as a modern industrial European centre.”

Twenty-four South Yorkshire firms are part of the supply chain for building submarines in Barrow.

Dr MacShane added: “The Barrow MP, John Woodcock, is leading an effective campaign to keep submarine building in the region.

“He needs support on a nation-wide basis as Rotherham and Sheffield workers will also be hit if Cameron and Clegg cut back on core defence spending to find money to cut taxes for their fellow-millionaires.”