§ Mr. Skeet
asked the Secretary of State for Energy (1) when he expects to introduce legislation to amend the Coal Mining (Subsidence) Act 1957;
(2) by how much he expects future coal mining to be retarded if detailed geological surveys are required where there is evidence of ground movement;366W
(3) if he will estimate the additional cost per tonne of coal mined if the recommendations in the Waddilove report were implemented;
(4) if he will estimate the extent of liability of the coal mining industry for loss of property values if the recommendation about compensation in paragraphs 143–150 of the report of the subsidence compensation review committee and about hardship payments to small enterprises in paragraph 153 were implemented;
(5) whether it is intended that the general provisions in the report of the subsidence compensation review committee on subsidence damage should be extended to general mining;
(6) if he will estimate what percentage of coal would have to be left in place on average to minimise subsidence damage if the recommendations of the subsidence compensation review committee were implemented;
(7) if he will estimate the extent of liability of the coal mining industry for compensation for inconvenience and disturbance if paragraphs 140–142 of the report of the subsidence compensation review committee were implemented.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
The report of the subsidence compensation review committee was published on 15 May. I am not yet in a position to comment on the implications of acting on the committee's recommendations, beyond the assessment contained in the committee's own findings. I shall be consulting interested parties, expecially the National Coal Board and others who gave evidence to the committee, and hope to be in a position to give a full response to the report before the end of the year.