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Jobs At Risk As Coke Plant Closure Looms

Wednesday October 29 2014

OVER 100 jobs have been put at risk after the owner of a coke plant confirmed it intends to close the site.

Hargreaves Services PLC, owners of Monckton Coke and Chemical Company Ltd, announced in September that it was reviewing the future of the Royston site.

In a statement, Hargreaves said a consultation process has now started and all employees would be issued with notification of potential redundancies.

The plant had been put under review as it was losing money - with 126 jobs at risk.

Coke has been made there for more than 130 years, but Hargreaves said unsteady coke markets and pricing have led to its decline.

Gordon Banham, chief executive of Hargreaves, added: "Whilst great progress has been made by the team in improving efficiency and environmental performance over the past ten years, the coke markets have become increasingly challenging for the business.

"I have worked closely with the management team and it is with great personal sadness that we find ourselves having to start this consultation process."

Barnsley Central MP Dan Jarvis said: "Whilst I know the site hasn't always been popular with local residents, it would be a big blow if so many jobs were to be lost, given the consequential impact that would have on the Barnsley economy.

"Given the challenging economic climate, it will be very difficult for those families facing an uncertain future."

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Reply Posted by Dan on Wednesday October 29 2014 at 16:35
its just another nail in the coffin for Royston. It's sad

Reply Posted by Eric Hill on Wednesday October 29 2014 at 16:59
You must ask what are the wider implications of this closure. Over the years the Coking Plant and The Glass works have been the reason to keep the rail link operative. With this closure will we see the closure of the rail link resulting in the use of HGV's to deliver the sand. How many HGV's per hour will it take and what will be the impact on the local road systems. I see major economic and environmental issues resulting in this closure and dare I predict what the economic impact will be on the Glass Works

Reply Posted by Mr C on Wednesday October 29 2014 at 18:20
Its sad but I'm surprised it stayed this long if I'm honest

Reply Posted by Your Name on Wednesday October 29 2014 at 23:44
The site's existence seems to have been under threat for a few years. In 2009 permission to reinstate some ovens was rejected. Cheetham didn't appear to give the site much support either, then, or early last year when it came out that solicitors from south wales were looking to take a swipe representing 100+ families for dust and odour issues against Monckton. All comments were subsequently removed by WAB

This article states it was losing money, while The Star says it was budgeted to make £2 million profit this financial year.

Reply Posted by Derek Carpenter on Thursday October 30 2014 at 09:45
Its a double edged sword. Royston Folk have opposed the site for many years.Those who held a strong voice will be pleased but those facing job loss will become the losers. Hargreaves were Inevitably going to give up the goal of finding an acceptable balance because nothing was going to become acceptable to those with concerns. Dan Jarvis offers a balanced disappointment.

Reply Posted by Alf Sidebottom on Thursday October 30 2014 at 13:05
It is not true for you to say that 'Royston folk have opposed the site for many years.' While some people may have been critical of the plant, the majority of Royston folk have rightly accepted it on the basis that it provides employment for local people. I would imagine that any complainants would have purchased/moved in to their property knowing full well that the plant was there. On that basis, I would suggest that those people had limited, if any, grounds for complaint.

I do not work at the plant nor do any of my family

Reply Posted by sinjon on Thursday October 30 2014 at 10:45
The village survived the closure of the pit it will survive the closure of the coke plant.

Reply Posted by get a grip on Thursday October 30 2014 at 12:01
Get a grip. I'm glad its closing . Hargreaves lorries tear arsing through shafton are a danger to the kids. Few years back one tipped over cause he came around the corner to fast. Bout time they put some width restrictions up either end of shafton.. Just another excuse for locals to cry about having no work . Still plenty other jobs out there if you get off ya ass and look. Or Jeremy kile audience will rise by over 100 viewers

Reply Posted by chris on Thursday October 30 2014 at 12:15
The main issue is that customers are buying cheaper product from China, America etc. This is of a lower standard but you can't blame them for going with a cheaper option in hard times. Governmeent intervention in trade, i.e. incentives to buy British could remedy this. I wonder what the outcome will be when there is no longer any Btitish competition. Surely the foreign sources will then up their prices. The UK appears to be welcoming a reliance on foreign sources as there is no investment at all in UK options

Reply Posted by chris on Thursday October 30 2014 at 12:32
I know there are going to be many comments from people saying they are glad it is closing. Especially from those hoping to cash in by using the Welsh solicitors to make claims against the company. But you have already seen the benefit from the plant. House prices in Royston are lower than in similar villages in Barnsley, largely due to Moncktons. It has been there for over 100 years. You knew it was there when you bought your house for such a reasonable price.
Before you comment, spare a thought to the 120 families who now face an uncertain future. They have mortgages, children, the same bills as everyone else and are now having to face a life changing, terrifying future without work. Many of these men have worked there for over 25 years, some more than 30. Half of their lives. No, they are not unique, and many are in or have been in the same position but that does not make it any less heartbreaking for the families that this is happening to now.

Reply Posted by Bob on Thursday October 30 2014 at 13:54
Is there any truth of the site being turned into a traveller campsite accommodating 700 caravans?

Reply Posted by frank on Thursday October 30 2014 at 13:59
I heard that Bob. But what told permanent accommodation 500 caravans and also temp for a max of 28days accommodating 100 caravans. hope this happens has will be a good thing for the travelling community.

Reply Posted by ted on Thursday October 30 2014 at 15:07
Yeh. I heard that too. Paying them a fortune apparently cos they get susidies for it. Well, they have to live somewhere. Lovely views too.

Reply Posted by monckton avenger on Thursday October 30 2014 at 15:32
The last tree comments really made me laugh.The site will need major work on it.Plus no building will be allowed on it for 25 years due to ground contamination.Its a shame its going but the good peaple of royston ie outsiders who moved here knowing it was there will have to find something else to blame.Probably move on to the glass works. And also thanks Tim Cheetham your support for working families has been noted.You sir are a pathetic excuse of a councillor.

Reply Posted by Joanne on Thursday October 30 2014 at 16:18
Hi , I'm not going to hide behind a user name to say that some comments have left me gobsmacked (for anyone who knows me it's rare) ... I have no connection to the coke plant & have even moaned at times when passing at the smell , however please give some thought to the people who work there & some all their working life along with their Families facing an uncertain future !! The rumours have already started as to what will become of the site & it's not even closed yet !! We are all entitled to our opinions , just think about all the people this affects & how you would feel if you were in their shoes !!

Reply Posted by get a grip on Thursday October 30 2014 at 16:25
Its a loss of work not a limb. Get over it and get new jobs. Its not hard. Don't matter how long you worked there his get on with it and get a new job. Couldn't careless about the people who work there. Its really not the end of the world is it. The future is uncertain for those families ..boohoo plenty of other work out there.

Reply Posted by Ted on Friday October 31 2014 at 06:49
Why aren't they selling it? Why go straight to closing? Hope the union ask about that in the consultation. They have to show they've done everything they can to avoid redundancies. Going straight to closing isn't doing everything they can

Reply Posted by babs lamb on Friday October 31 2014 at 10:10
I resent the last comment coz it wasnt me that wrote it.and i wud just like to put the record straight i have nothing against pikeys. Ty babs

Reply Posted by froghopper on Friday October 31 2014 at 14:20
I agree with the Monckton avenger cheetham is a C you Next Tuesday a Labour councillor who wants to see people out of work! He should be made to go and explain face to face to these guys and their families how everything will be alright and how he will find work for them

Reply Posted by monckton avenger on Saturday November 1 2014 at 08:43
Tim cheetham hasnt got the guts to come and explain his statements.He is happy to pick up his money for his soundbites while doing nothing to help anyone.The man has forgotten were he comes from.Useless springs to mind.

Reply Posted by flipflop on Saturday November 1 2014 at 10:22
Well said glen .w oooops ameen harry

Reply Posted by Les W on Sunday November 2 2014 at 18:08
There as always been a smell from the coking. Plant......but now its closings I smell a housings estate coming on.......on prime building land...

Reply Posted by Chris on Sunday November 2 2014 at 18:26
Can't build houses on the land. Needs years for decontamination. Will have to be industrial use

Reply Posted by notyourbusiness on Sunday November 2 2014 at 21:57
locals chose to live there. Monckton was there first. cos of Monckton you got cheap housing then you claim against the company. so if Monckton closes maybe Monckton ex employees could counter-claim for some of the money when your houses increase in value. your community will suffer for this. small business will suffer.

Reply Posted by Kim on Sunday November 2 2014 at 22:27
at least we will be able to see daylight hours,, good riddance to the SMOG

Reply Posted by Got a Grip on Saturday November 8 2014 at 18:54
Another case of hard working taxpayers thrown to the wolves and discarded at the drop of a profit in the short term. Of course there are millions of jobs available and everyone who's out of work is a scrounger. What a load of tosh....unemployment is the ruling classes tool and convincing enough idiots that unemployment is the fault of the unemployed/immigrants/the minimum wage/Europe/overspending by Labour is what makes the millionaires laugh all the way to the bank as their pals continue to govern for them rather than the electorate.

Reply Posted by Anonymous on Saturday November 8 2014 at 23:45
The plant was not even that bad, we live round the corner and it has never bothered any of us on our street. It is sad it is closing for the poor families. Royston is a lovely place to live regardless of the coking plant. We will keep going strong nonetheless.