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Coal Mining

Volume 939: debated on Friday 25 November 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy what undestanding he has reached with the National Coal Board and the mining unions about a future planning agreement.

The Government, the National Coal Board and the mining unions—the British Association of Colliery Management, the National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers and the National Union of Mineworkers—have entered into an agreement on future joint planning procedures embracing a formal planning agreement. Starting from next year, the annual medium-term development plan, covering the strategy of the industry for the succeeding five years, will be submitted to the Secretary of State by the Board in consultation with the mining unions and will be regarded as the vehicle for a formal planning agreement which will be renewed annually.The other elements in the agreement on future joint planning procedures are: the tripartite arrangements for discussion of matters of strategic importance to the industry and for reviewing progress with long-term plans; and the financial framework of the Board.