§ Mr. Richards
To ask the President of the Board of Trade what were the details of the criteria on which British Coal originally decided to close Point of Ayr colliery in north Wales; and in what respects the criteria on which its future will now be assessed differ from these.395W
§ Mr. Eggar
My right hon. Friend the President of the Board of Trade and I accepted British Coal's advice that in order to meet its estimate of its potential market economically, it needed to reduce its present levels of production urgently and subsequently. We also accepted British Coal's advice as to the particular pits that should be closed. The detailed criteria used in making that decision are a matter for British Coal.
I refer my hon. Friend to the reply my right hon. Friend gave to my hon. Friend the Member for Broxtowe) (Mr. Lester) on 26 October, Official Report, columns 522–23, announcing the terms of reference of the review of the prospects for the 21 pits, including Point of Ayr, proposed for closure by British Coal but not subject to the statutory consultation currently being undertaken by it.