asked the Secretary of State for Energy how many miners who had been dismissed during the mining dispute have now been reinstated following the official ending of the dispute; how many are still seeking reinstatement; and if he will make a statement.
Questions of dismissal and reemployment of NCB employees are matters for the National Coal Board.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he will make a statement on the future of the coal mining industry.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if, in the light of the end of the coal strike, he will now initiate a meeting between himself, management and unions to discuss the industry's future; and if he will make a statement.
The first task has been to bring about a return to normal working in those pits where this is possible. I am pleased to say that good progress is being made to this end. I hope that, following this, there will be a return by the National Union of Mineworkers to full participation in the established processes of the industry so that both sides of the industry can constructively plan for future success in the industry.I will certainly be available to discuss the results and the financing of any proposals that come out of these consultations.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) if he has any proposals to introduce legislation to replace the Opencast Coal Act 1958;(2) if he has any proposals to reduce the limitation and restrictions on local mineral authorities (county councils) which have recently been charged with control of all such workings by circular 8/84;(3) when he intends to introduce the legislation outlined in circular 3/84 which will remove district councils from the list of statutory objections to opencast coal mining applications.
These matters are under consideration. I cannot make any statement about legislation at present.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy what proposals he has to divorce the National Coal Board opencast executive from the National Coal Board; and if he has any plans to privatise all opencast workings.
I have no such proposals at present.
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if he intends to implement the Monopolies and Mergers Commission recommendation to free the private sector from all limitations and restrictions as to the size of site and quantity of coal and other associated materials it wishes to extract in opencast operations.
We are giving very careful consideration to the Monopolies and Mergers Commission recommendation to increase the statutory limit on individual opencast licences from 25,000 tons to 100,000 tonnes.