§ 24. Mrs. Clwyd
asked the Secretary of State for Energy if, when he next meets the chairman of the National Coal Board, he will discuss the current position regarding the proposed Margam deep mine project in south Wales.
§ Mr. David Hunt
At my right hon. Friend's meetings with the chairman of the NCB, all aspects of the coal industry are discussed, including proposals for new mines. My right hon. Friend has not yet received proposals for approval of the Margam project.
§ Mrs. Clwyd
Is the Minister aware that 11,000 jobs have been lost in the coal industry in south Wales since 1979 and that only 700 alternative jobs have been offered by NCB (Enterprise) Ltd.? Does he agree that there has been a great deal of misinformation about the Margam project? During the strike the NCB said that investment would go ahead, but that statement was totally untrue. Can the right hon. Gentleman explain how that deception occurred?
§ Mr. Hunt
No such deception has occurred. Planning permission has been granted by West Glamorgan county council for the Margam mine. However, as the hon. Lady will appreciate, decisions on the development of new mines and the extension of existing mines are matters for the National Coal Board. I have not yet received proposals for approval of the project at Margam or for the development at Carway Fawr, and I understand that it has not yet been decided whether it will be financially viable to proceed with them.