Call for more help after £20 million grant agreed for Doncaster’s last pit

editorial image
Have your say

Ministers have been urged to do more to help Hatfield Colliery - the last working deep coal mine in South Yorkshire.

Doncaster North MP Ed Miliband urged Energy Minister Amber Rudd to show “fairness to workers” and do more to address “severe pressures” at Hatfield pit.

The pit is due to continue mining until summer 2016.

The Government says is had agreed a £20 million for the colliery earlier this year.

Mine bosses are in discussions with ministers about further support for the future.

During today’s Energy and Climate Change debate, he asked: “Ministers will be aware of the severe pressures at Hatfield colliery in my constituency, which have arisen in part because of the doubling of the carbon price floor earlier this year.

“Can I ask them to work with ministers in Business, Innovation and Skills to do everything they can to help the mine stay open until next summer, as planned, because fairness to workers in affected industries is an essential part of a just, low-carbon transition?”

Ms Rudd said her department was in regular contact with the pit and in May it had agreed a grant of £20 million to the mine.

Speaking after the debate, Mr Miliband said: “Communities all over Doncaster have a long, proud tradition of mining – it’s important that heritage is preserved, which is why I’m urging the government to do all it can to support Hatfield colliery.

“The pit is now the last operational mine in South Yorkshire, one of just three in the whole country, and a significant employer in the area.

“It is vital that efforts are made to prolong its life and safeguard the jobs of the people employed there.”

Hatfield Colliery has been run by an employee-owned trust since 2013 and the business currently employs 430 workers

Mr Miliband held talks with the pit’s chairman, John Grogan, and other officials at the mine, on Friday .

Ministers are trying to move away from fossil fuels and say they are looking for coal to provide only one per cent of the UK’s power generation in 10 years time.

A Department for Energy and Climate Change spokesperson said: “While fossil fuels have a role to cost effectively meet demand and our carbon targets, we expect coal to account for only around one per cent of total electricity generation in Great Britain by 2025.

“Already we are seeing a number of old coal power stations coming to an end of their operational lives across the country and that is why the Government is introducing policies to stimulate investment in lower carbon alternatives as part of our move to a cleaner, greener future.”