Local MP Yvette Cooper is calling on UK Coal and Government Ministers to meet with potential investors in a bid to stop the closure of Kellingley Colliery next year.
Under current plans, the Government is set to loan UK Coal £10m to stop the mine just outside Knottingley and the Thoresby mine in Nottinghamshire closing immediately, on the condition that both mines close by October 2015. And the first redundancies are expected very soon.
But Ms Cooper is worried that neither UK Coal bosses or Government ministers seem to have met with potential outside investors who are interested in keeping the mine open beyond 2015, potentially saving the UK taxpayer in lost income tax and national insurance contributions
Yvette Cooper MP said:
“Before the redundancies start, UK Coal and Government Ministers should be doing everything possible to come up with a plan to keep Kellingley open for the long term that goes much further than the short term deal.
"Over the last few weeks I’ve met with several potential investors who have all said the same thing; bosses at UK Coal and Government Ministers won’t engage with them or give them the information they need to consider a serious offer that could keep the mine at Kellingley open into the future.
“I’ve written to UK Coal and to Government Ministers to demand change. There are 800 skilled jobs at risk, Britain will still rely on coal for years to come, and clean coal technology is under development at Drax. Kellingley still has plenty of reserves and we don’t want to be entirely dependent on imported coal.”
“For all these reasons both the company and the Government should be doing everything they can do explore every option possible to keep the mine option. The clock is ticking because the first redundancies are due, and if new development falls behind it will be even harder to get investors to come in. I won’t stop fighting for this; it’s what the miners deserve and it’s what’s best for our area and for the country.”