Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YOGAZ to 80360 or send an email»
Green power hope for East Yorkshire jobs
GREEN energy projects could be the key to reversing East Yorkshire’s rising unemployment, a top economic chief has said.
Alan Menzies, East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s director of planning and economic regeneration, said his team was working hard to attract power companies.
He told The Press the council was doing everything it could to stem the rise in the number of people claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance, which this week reached its highest level in 15 years.
He called the rise “disappointing” and “very unfortunate”, but said: “We are working very closely with our friends in Hull in terms of trying to attract renewable energy mannufacturing companies to come to this area.
“We are also looking at development sites, such as at Allerthorpe and Pocklington airfield.”
The Pocklington airfield development, revealed by The Press in December, is likely to create 92 jobs at a new restaurant, petrol station and pub next to Pocklington Industrial Estate.
Mr Menzies said a number of other new initiatives should also help reduce unemployment, including new concentrated training to help 18- to 24-year-olds apply for jobs and prepare for interviews and “Network business centres” with small businesses in them.
Mr Menzies’ support for renewable energy drew fresh concern from rural campaigners, who have repeatedly voiced concern about wind farms damaging the Yorkshire Wolds.
Steve Hey, chairman of the No To Wolds Wind Farm Group, said too many renewable-energy jobs were heavily subsidised and would therefore be vulnerable to cuts.
He said the council should focus on expanding its tourism appeal to build on the success of artist David Hockney’s exhibition of works inspired by the Wolds, currently on display at the Royal Academy in London.
He said: “Would tourists want to come if there were big wind farms everywhere?”
He also said a Netmums survey yesterday had shown many families were struggling to pay their bills, and said it was wrong to penalise children to fund energy jobs.
He said offshore windfarms in the North Sea may prove economically beneficial, but added: “I think on-shore wind farms are a no-go. Once they are up and running, there are virtually on automatic systems with no jobs.”