HC Deb 17 November 2003 vol 413 cc473-4
8. Mr. John Grogan (Selby)

If he will make a statement about the contribution of the Employment Service to the Selby taskforce. [138640]

The Minister for Work (Mr. Desmond Browne)

Jobcentre Plus is a key member of the Selby taskforce, making a positive contribution to its work to help the local community. Working closely with local organisations, Jobcentre Plus has provided advice, guidance, and training to help those made redundant to make the move back into work. I know that my hon. Friend has been working hard to support the efforts of the taskforce, and I am sure that his work, in conjunction with that of the taskforce, is appreciated by those people who have moved into work.

Mr. Grogan

Will my hon. Friend congratulate Mrs. Alison Seabrooke who, incidentally, is married to a Selby man and who, perhaps more than anyone else, has helped co-ordinate the various agencies involved in the Selby taskforce, and helped to ensure that the current mine closure is handled differently from the mine closures that occurred in Yorkshire in the 1980s and 1990s? Does my hon. Friend share my hope that UK Coal and the National Union of Mineworkers will work hard to reach agreement on terms that will allow 260 Selby miners to transfer to nearby Kellingley colliery?

Mr. Browne

I am more than happy to join my hon. Friend in congratulating Mrs. Seabrooke on her contribution to the efforts of the taskforce. I will pass on to those working closely with Jobcentre Plus my hon. Friend's advice about the opportunities available to Selby miners, to ensure that the best is made of those opportunities.