HC Deb 31 March 1969 vol 781 cc10-1
9. Mr. David Watkins

asked the Secretary of State for Employment and Productivity how many men are expected to be redundant following the closure of Crag-head Colliery, County Durham; and what action she proposes to take.

Mr. Fernyhough

It is estimated that about 180 men will become redundant when Craghead Colliery closes. My local officers will do all they can to help these men to find other work and will offer training facilities where appropriate.

Mr. Watkins

Does my hon. Friend remember telling me two weeks ago today that the male unemployment rate in Stanley was already 7.5 per cent.? In view of this already high figure, does he expect difficulty in placing these men in alternative employment?

Mr. Fernyhough

There will be some difficulty. I am very conscious of what mine closures have done in my hon. Friend's constituency. He will agree that I am not being complacent when I say that, having regard to how heavily hit his constituency has been by mine closures, the number of new industries which we have been able to get there is remarkable. I hope that we shall be able to get more there in the near future, so that these unemployed miners will be able to find alternative employment.