HC Deb 30 November 1953 vol 521 cc740-2
7. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power his estimate of the annual cost of carrying out in full the recommendations of the Turner Committee on Mining Subsidence.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

It would be too speculative and I am not prepared to make it.

Mr. Swingler

Will the Minister say whether he is in favour of these recommendations? As nothing has been done about the Turner Report since the 1950 Act, can he say when he will next bring forward an instalment of legislation to carry out the recommendations of this Report, which everybody accepted when it was published?

Mr. Lloyd

That point arises on the next Question.

8. Dr. Stross

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power if he will name the 11 organisations which have made representations to him on the inadequacy of the present provisions for compensation for damage caused by mining subsidence; and what answer he has given to them.

14. Mr. Swingler

asked the Minister of Fuel and Power which local authority associations have made representations to him on the inadequacy of present provisions for compensation for damage caused by mining subsidence; on what dates; what proposals they brought forward; and what was the nature of his reply.

Mr. Geoffrey Lloyd

Apart from letters about specific cases, a number of organisations have submitted representations in general terms that the recommendations of the Turner Committee should be implemented, and I will circulate a list of these in the Official Report. I replied that the Government cannot at present undertake to introduce legislation on this subject.

Dr. Stross

Is the Minister aware that the situation in some areas, as, for example, Stoke-on-Trent, is really deplorable? Does he think it fair to deny to cities like Bournemouth, South-port and Blackpool the privilege of paying something towards the damage which occurs in such areas as mine?

Mr. Lloyd

It is hardly three years since Parliament dealt with this matter.

Mr. Swingler

Is not the Minister aware that Parliament dealt only with dwellinghouses up to a rateable value of £32, and that no legislation has been brought forward affecting the position of local authorities? Is he not further aware that local authorities in mining areas are suffering grievously from the fact that they have to carry the whole burden of the damage to their services? Will he not, therefore, pay attention to what the Turner Committee said on this subject, and appreciate that something should be done to assist local authorities?

Mr. Lloyd

I appreciate that this is a difficult position, but it was equally difficult when the 1950 Act was brought in.

Mr. T. Brown

Is the Minister aware that there is growing disquiet in many mining areas because of the parsimonious policy now being pursued by regional boards? Is he further aware that when an amount in respect of the damage done by mining subsidence has been agreed, the Coal Board officers are asking the owners and the trustees to sign a certificate indemnifying the Coal Board against any further damage done by mining subsidence? I have a copy of the letter which has been sent out. Is that not trying to contract out of the Act of 1950?

Mr. Lloyd

Nobody would try to contract out of an Act of Parliament. Has the hon. Member taken the matter up with the Coal Board?

Mr. Brown

Yes, but I am a little tired of these men because of their very stupid attitude.

Dr. Stross

I beg to give notice that in view of the unsatisfactory answer I shall raise the matter at the earliest opportunity on the Adjournment.

Following is the list:

12th August. 1952—The Urban District Councils' Association.

14th August, 1952—The Rural District Councils' Association.

8th January, 1953—The Borough Council of Bolton.

3rd December, 1952—Wombwell Urban District Council.

23rd February, 1953—Hemsworth Rural District Council.

28th February, 1953—Farnworth, Walkden and District Trades' Council.

29th January, 1952 and 6th May, 1953—The National Federation of Property Owners.

3rd February, 1953 and 13th March, 1953—The National Federation of Owner-Occupiers' and Owner-Residents' Associations.

30th January, 1953—Bolton and District Owner-Occupiers' and Ratepayers' Association.

20th June, 1953—The Mining Subsidence Protest Campaign, Bolton.

18th May, 1953—The Mining Subsidence Protest Campaign, Silverdale.

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