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National Coal Board (Subsidence Damage)

Volume 75: debated on Tuesday 12 March 1985

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asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement about the provisions for subsidence damage in the National Coal Board accounts for 1983–84.

The chairman of the NCB has assured me that following a further review he is satisfied that the provision for subsidence damage in the board's 1983–84 accounts is adequate, and that the board is doing everything possible to prevent a recurrence of the situation which made the large additional provision for subsidence damage necessary. I have asked to be kept in close touch with the implementation of the board's plans to improve financial control in this area and have emphasised to the board the importance I attach to a policy directed at repairing subsidence damaged properties rather than paying cash compensation to claimants. I have now paid to the board deficit grant in respect of the additional subsidence provisions, which I had withheld until I was satisfied regarding them.