Today was an incredibly important – and emotional – day for me. I secured an Adjournment Debate in Parliament on Health Safety in the Mining Industry, which gave me the privilege of paying tribute to the 15 miners who died in the Burngrange shale mining disaster 70 years ago.
called on the UK government to set up specific funds for former coal and shale mining communities across the UK to help them adapt and provide for the future – and has said that mining communities are owed gratitude and support.
I also called on the UK government to review the health and safety and human rights records of the countries which the UK imports its coal from.
I was able to voice my concerns that the UK is importing from both Russia, which is subject to international sanctions over Ukraine and is providing close to half of all the coal brought in, and Columbia which has an ugly track record on human rights.
My grandad was a miner, which is why this industry – and those killed in tragic accidents – remain so close to my heart.
I said the Minister needs to explain what she and her government will do to ensure communities across the UK, blighted by the loss of these industries, get greater investment and support to embrace an environmentally friendly future.
The UK government should set up specific funds for the communities of former coal and shale mining communities to help them adapt to and provide for the future, they have sacrificed more than they should have and we owe them our gratitude and support.
We should not be condoning the dereliction of duty towards the human rights of workers and families living in mining communities but while we do still import coal we should do it from responsible sources, and I’d like to ask the Minister what extra resources she could put in to that.