ANGRY residents filled Middlesbrough town hall as the Mayor of Middlesbrough continues the fight to save jobs at Corus.

Ray Mallon called an urgent executive meeting to express the town’s anger at the proposed mothballing of Teesside Cast Products in Redcar. The closure threatens 1,700 staff with thousands of other jobs expected to be lost across the region.

Mr Mallon demanded the Government takes direct action to protect the region’s economy.

Tabling his motion, Mr Mallon said: “The people of Middlesbrough call upon the Government to do all in its power to ensure that steel production on Teesside is retained and thereby safeguard the Corus workforce and thousands of other local jobs that could also be put at risk.”

It has been estimated that Middlesbrough town centre will lose £12m of retail and leisure spending a year once the furnaces are switched off in the new year.

The meeting was attended by MP for Middlesbrough Sir Stuart Bell.

Addressing the meeting, Steve Garrity, one of the 1,700 being made redundant, said: “Peter Mandelson and Stuart Bell have been talking about Corus, but do they realise the devastation this closure will have in the area?

“They talk about the blast furnace being mothballed, but none the size of Corus has ever been reopened.”

Former ICI worker and union official, Peter Warner, said it was scandalous.

“We can talk about mothballing, but what we are really talking about is the loss of 1,700 jobs and the knock-on effect on the community,” he said.

“We need the MPs in the region to pull together and help these people during these difficult times.”

Ian Creighton, who worked at Corus for more than 40 years, said: “I cannot see how on earth we can mothball this site and abandon the workforce.

“We need to all work together and stop this decline of manufacturing before it’s too late.”