Jobs lost at Clitheroe cement firm

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ONE of Clitheroe’s biggest employers has announced 30 people are to lose their jobs.

Hanson (formerly Castle Cement) has plans to reduce production at its Ribblesdale Works with the resultant loss of 30 jobs. The move follows a falling demand for cement and recent changes to the European Union carbon trading rules for energy-intensive industries like cement.

In a statement, the company’s managing director, Mr Jon Morrish, said: “We have carried out a comprehensive review of the business to prepare for what we expect will be a very tough market in 2012 and beyond.

“This detailed appraisal, which included an assessment of recent changes to the European Union carbon trading rules and encompassed all three of our cement plants (Ketton, Clitheroe and Padeswood), has now been concluded.

“The most significant outcome is a proposal to increase production at our Padeswood plant in North Wales with a proportionate reduction at Ribblesdale.

“The reasons for this are to optimise manufacturing efficiencies, while maintaining our EU carbon trading credits, which are critical to the viability of our entire business.”

There are 160 people employed at the Ribblesdale site, with 108 working in production and 30 of these posts will go. The total number of workforce will drop to 138. In addition, management teams at Ribblesdale and Padeswood would be combined.

Mr Morrish added: “All employees likely to be affected have been notified and consultation, either directly or through relevant trade union representatives, has begun. I would like to make it clear these proposed changes, while unwelcome, are vital to secure the long-term success of our UK cement business and the Ribblesdale plant remains central to our future plans.”