§ Mr. McMaster
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland if he will detail the most recent information available to him on the stability of old mineworkings which lie under the town of Johnstone and the village of Elderslie; how many houses have been demolished in the area because of subsidence caused by old mineworkings; if he will give the year of demolition; what measures have been taken to minimise the risk of further subsidence; if he will commission a study into the need for further ground stabilisation measures; which public bodies have responsibility for monitoring the situation; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Stewart
[holding answer 24 June 1994]: The information the hon. Member seeks is not held centrally. It is not clear from the hon. Member's question what type of mining operations are being referred to. However, in the case of coal mining subsidence where properties suffer damage, British Coal is responsible for repair or compensation, as appropriate, under the Coal Mining Subsidence Act (1991). Following privatisation, claimants' rights regarding coal mining subsidence damage will remain unaffected, although British Coal's responsibilities will pass either to the Coal Authority or to the new mine owner.
If the hon. Member is concerned about a specific coal mining related matter, he may care to direct his inquiry to British Coal.