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Margaret Hilda Thatcher (13 October 1925 – 8 April 2013)
The former UK Prime Minister who held office from 4 May 1979 until 28 November 1990 died 8 April 2013. To her family our condolences.
The legacy of what the Conservative Government did to British Industry under Thatcher is not one to be proud of if you really did want the best for the people.
Of course Thatcher was the symbol of “free enterprise” and set out to serve those whose interests were profit for the few.
The coal mining industry is not on its own in suffering the decimation of a world class industry in the name of the “free market”.
Thatcher lived long enough to see her beliefs demolished when the “free market” collapsed and came running to the State for support.
Unlike the Banks who gambled, cheated and were bailed out – Coal mines were closed and communities were left to suffer.
Margaret Hilda Thatcher is gone but the damage caused by her fatally flawed politics sadly lingers on.
The closure on 7 March 2013 of Daw Mill Colliery in Warwickshire following the major fire that broke out undergound is a body blow for all the miners that worked at the pit. The vast amounts of coal at Daw Mill lay abandoned.
The Minister for Energy, John Hayes said: “Our priority during this unsettling time for employees is to ensure that everyone is given our full support. Job Centre Plus, the Skills Funding Agency, BIS West Midlands and local skills bodies are ready to offer their considerable expertise if needed.”
It is hoped that the miners gain meaningful employment equivalent or better to what they have lost but our experience tells us we will have to wait and see.
This year`s annual Bentley Memorial will take place on Sunday 25 November 2012 at 12 noon at Arksey Cemetery. The memorial will last approximately 30 minutes and the service will be conducted by local clergy.
The Memorial is held to commemorate those who lost their lives in the disasters of 1931 and 1978.
Why shouldn't Kellingley and Thoresby have remained open into 2018?
In a report prepared for the NUM and TUC "Merits of UK Coal State Aid Application" it is argued that rather than close Kellingley and Thorseby in 2015 they could remain open until 2018. Other EU member states have and still are benefiting from the fund whilst making a case for extended funding.
"It can be seen that our European competitors are taking a strategic decision to support their coal industry during managed wind down of uncompetitive coal mines, and are providing substantial sums under European State Aid regulations. As an example, Germany’s closure plans are designed to address the social impact of job losses, and specifically to allow sufficient time to enable direct and indirect supply chains to adjust. To date the UK has made little use of state-aid provisions for the sector, either under the previous regulations or current Closure Aid."
The full report can be read here http://www.num.org.uk/uploads/26/1184.pdf
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