Labour says pit jobs drive will fail

LABOUR is to deliver a warning today that Lord Walker will fail to reduce the impact of unemployment caused by the closure of more than half of the 31 pits under threat.

The party will publish a survey alleging that the Welsh valleys initiative by the former Secretary of State for Wales failed to solve the underlying problems caused by earlier pit closures.

Labour leaders believe that should be seen as a warning for the mining communities in England and Wales which will be faced with mass unemployment if the pits are allowed to close.

Lord Walker was given the task of bringing industry back into the coalfields by John Major and Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, who were impressed with his success in achieving inward investment in Wales.

The report produced by Ron Davies, shadow Secretary of State for Wales, attacks the valleys initiative for painting 'a superficial gloss' over the deep-seated problems in the steel and coal communities, which undermined the local authorities as key agents of the regeneration process.

A group of 12 Welsh Labour MPs will support his call for a strategy to enable the valley communities to regain their self-confidence. Its report says traditional male employment in heavy industries has been replaced by light manufacturing industries, employing mainly women in part- time and poorly-paid jobs, leaving high rates of male unemployment with a growth in unskilled or semi- skilled work.

The MPs will call for construction schemes, including housing, to provide jobs; more investment in health care and education; and a co-ordinated industrial policy to increase foreign investment.

The Cabinet is deeply divided about whether the Treasury or the electricity industry should be required to subsidise additional coal stocks to rescue some of the pits.

Mr Heseltine has hinted that legislation may have to be introduced as part of the rescue package to force National Power to stockpile an extra 15 million tons of coal at its expense. Some ministers believe Mr Heseltine should be forced to use a subsidy from the taxpayer, through the Treasury. With John Major visiting Washington next week, a Cabinet decision has been put off until early next month.

But some Tory MPs with seats in the South are warning ministers to give equal treatment to the unemployment in their areas as the coalfields. Peter Bottomley, a former minister and Tory MP for Eltham in south London, was given government figures showing that since the 1987 general election, unemployment in the mining areas in England had fallen by 13.6 per cent, in Wales by 17.6 per cent, and in Scotland by 25.4 per cent.

Unemployment fell by 10 per cent in Mansfield in the Nottinghamshire coalfield, where 1,686 jobs were lost through colliery closures and unemployment fell by 34 per cent in Easington where 1,487 colliery jobs where lost.

Suggested Topics
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksNow available in paperback
News
Happy in his hat: Pharrell Williams
people
Arts and Entertainment
Stella Gibson is getting closer to catching her killer
tvReview: It's gripping edge-of-the-seat drama, so a curveball can be forgiven at such a late stage
News
Brazilian football legend Pele pictured in 2011
peopleFans had feared the worst when it was announced the Brazil legand was in a 'special care' unit
News
i100(More than you think)
News
Phyllis Dorothy James on stage during a reading of her book 'Death Comes to Pemberley' last year
peopleJohn Walsh pays tribute to PD James, who died today
News
peopleExclusive: Maryum and Hana Ali share their stories of the family man behind the boxing gloves
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Austen Lloyd: Commercial / Residential Property - Surrey

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: SURREY MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

Recruitment Genius: Graduate Programme - Online Location Services Business

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: What do you want to do with your career? Do yo...

Recruitment Genius: Senior QC Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This company is a leading expert in immunoassa...

Recruitment Genius: Development Scientist

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Development Scientist is required to join a ...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game
There's a Good Girl exhibition: How female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising

In pictures: There's a Good Girl exhibition

The new exhibition reveals how female creatives are changing the way women are portrayed in advertising
UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover - from advent calendars to doll's houses

UK firm Biscuiteers is giving cookies a makeover

It worked with cupcakes, doughnuts and macarons so no wonder someone decided to revamp the humble biscuit