§ Ms. Joan Walley (Stoke-on-Trent, North)
I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 20, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that should have urgent consideration, namely,
the need for a full and thorough investigation into recent earth tremors in the north part of the city of Stoke-on-Trent.This week's earth tremor affected people living in Smallthorne, Bradeley, High lane, Mill Hill and Chell. It measured a magnitude of 1.9 on the Richter scale and is the third tremor—[Interruption.]
§ Ms. Walley
Thank you, Mr. Speaker. This may not be an earth-shattering matter for hon. Members, but it is certainly a matter of great concern to people in my constituency.
It is the third tremor in this small area in the last 12 months and it is the second in less than three weeks. Everybody who is affected is quite right to be distressed and concerned about the potential damage to their properties, and even more so when it appears that a pattern of earth tremors is now emerging.
We should be given every assistance to make sure that the area is being properly monitored and that the necessary national resources and equipment are on hand to enable the city of Stoke-on-Trent, the university of Keele's geography department and local residents to understand the extent of the problem and to establish whether there is a link between the current series of earth tremors and the abandonment of deep pit mining and changed Coal Board practices in that area.
The British Geological Survey is currently unable to provide Stoke-on-Trent with the detailed kind of monitoring that is required. I understand that the university of Keele has not yet received funding from the University Grants Committee to deploy seismic stations in the north part of Stoke-on-Trent.
Given the long history of earth tremors in this area, the lack of adequate monitoring equipment, which once was available in Stoke-on-Trent and has now been taken away, and the genuine concern and distress felt by people who are affected, detailed monitoring and analysis is urgently needed. Therefore I beg to ask leave to move the Adjournment of the House in order that we can have a full debate to make sure that these issues are immediately addressed.
§ Mr. Speaker
The hon. Member for Stoke-on-Trent, North (Ms. Walley) asks leave to move the Adjournment of the House, under Standing Order No. 20, for the purpose of discussing a specific and important matter that she believes should have urgent consideration, namely,the need for a full and thorough investigation into recent earth tremors in the north part of the city of Stoke-on-Trent.I have listened with care and concern to what the hon. Lady has said, but I do not consider that the matter she has raised is appropriate for discussion under Standing Order No. 20. I hope, however, that she will have other opportunities to bring the matter before the House.