HC Deb 15 January 1991 vol 183 cc732-3 3.32 pm
Mr. Alan Meale (Mansfield)

I beg to move, That leave be given to bring in a Bill to establish the rights of owners of houses, land, buildings and other constructions which have suffered damage due to subsidence resulting from the working and getting of coal or of coal and other minerals worked therewith, to full repair or equitable compensation of their properties; to establish an independent arbitration procedure to resolve any disputes that may arise out of such damage or any matters relating thereto; to require any public body or organisation involved in the working or getting of coal and other minerals to take steps to prevent subsidence damage; and to promote public awareness of workings which might give rise to such damage. I promise the House that I shall not take up its time unduly, as it is clear that there are other important matters in the minds of hon. Members today.

I am glad to use this opportunity to congratulate those people who have been involved in campaigning about coal mining subsidence damage. That campaign has had its effect and it has involved hon. Members on both sides of the House, members of local authorities and the COALS organisation of Nottinghamshire, Leicestershire, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. That organisation has been deeply involved in the campaign to try to get justice for people whose properties and homes have been damaged by coal mining subsidence. As a result of their efforts and the efforts of hon. Members, we are at last making some headway and there is a light on the horizon for people who have suffered grave injustice in their everyday lives.

I do not want to take up too much time, but I must repeat one fact. Although I am grateful to the Prime Minister for his promise today of a Bill to deal with this problem that will be introduced in this Session, no such Bill is as yet written and ready for hon. Members to read. The Bill that I am proposing today has been sanctioned and supported by all those who have sought to get justice for people who have suffered damage to their property. This year is the fourth occasion on which the Bill has been presented. For four consecutive years the Bill has been presented to the House; four times it has tried to achieve justice. I hope that by this time next year we shall have legislation which will ensure justice for home owners and property owners throughout Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and all the coalfield areas.

Question put and agreed to.

Bill ordered to be brought in by Mr. Alan Meale, Mr. Dennis Skinner, Mr. Frank Haynes, Mr. Joseph Ashton, Mr. Jimmy Wray, Mr. Harry Barnes, Mr. Don Dixon, Mr. Geoffrey Lofthouse, Mr. Eric Illsley, Mr. George J. Buckley, Mr. Martin Redmond and Mr. Jimmy Dunnachie.