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Mineral Workings (Damage Compensation)

Volume 892: debated on Friday 23 May 1975

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what are the terms of reference of the inter-departmental committee appointed in 1971 to consider questions of compensation for damage and injury resulting from mining or other industrial operations; how many times the committee has met; when it is due to report; whether its conclusions will be made public; and whether it is his intention to incorporate the recommendations in the current Coal Industry Bill.

The terms of reference of the Working Group on Mining Subsidence Compensation are:

"To study the problem of damage resulting from coal mining subsidence and to make recommendations with regard to two separate issues, viz.:
  • (a) the National Coal Board's statutory liability to pay compensation,
  • (b) the Board's attitude towards the cost of structural precautions to lessen the risk of damage to new buildings."
  • The working group has had six full meetings, and, in addition, various consultations have taken place by correspondence and between individual members. It has been asked to report as quickly as possible after it has had time to give proper consideration to the new evidence which has been coming to light and the views which are being expressed during the passage of the Coal Industry Bill through Parliament. As is usual in the case of committees of officials, the report will not be made public, but the Government will make a full statement on the subject when they have had time to consider the report. If new legislation is then called for, an early opportunity will be sought for it.