First Minister Mark Drakeford calls first mines safety summit following Skewen coal mine burst
First Minister Mark Drakeford convened a mines safety summit yesterday to address the safety and the environmental impacts of Wales’ disused coal mines, after a mine shaft burst in Skewen and caused catastrophic flooding last month.
The summit brought together Secretary of State Simon Hart, Welsh Government and UK Government representatives, Neath Port Talbot Leader Rob Jones, as well as Rhondda Cynon Taf Leader Andrew Morgan, fire and rescue and emergency services, the Coal Authority and Natural Resources Wales.
The First Minister called for Skewen residents to be at the heart of all immediate work, while suggesting a ten-year finance plan to make mine safety a reality across the country, with a look to factor in climate change into any works needed.
First Minister Mark Drakeford yesterday said:
Coal from Wales’ hillsides fuelled the industrial revolution, catapulting us into the modern world we know today. It is only right that our communities who gave so much, live safely and are not financially hit by the negative legacy of coal mining.
I wanted to convene today’s summit to discuss the risks to public safety and to agree, amongst other things, liability, the recovery process, the importance of engaging the affected community and the wider connections with the wider coal tip safety agenda. While there are some complexities to iron-out, the meeting was positive and productive, and we all agreed on the importance of putting the residents of Skewen at the heart of our plans.
I was heartened to hear the Coal Authority and UK Government agree the significance of this, as well as the expertise and collaborative spirit of the emergency services, local authorities and Natural Resources Wales.
Skewen was a wake-up call to us all. Homes were flooded at a rapid speed, and the impact of this has shocked the community.
We know that climate change will increase rainfall, and therefore poses an added risk to events like these happening again. We need a ten-year plan to finance work to secure all mines across the country, with climate change needing to be factored into any work going forward.
We will work with all parties to make the safety of coal, metal and other mines, as well as coal tips- priority, and find the right path forward on an issue that far predates devolution.
Yesterday marked one year on from the Tylorstown landslide in Rhondda Cynon Taff, which was brought on following heavy rainfall and floods in February 2020. Since then, three coal tips summits have been convened and mapping of coal tips across Wales carried out, inspections and maintenance works are on-going.
Latest News from
£500k to provide free entry to the Urdd Eisteddfod in centenary year08/12/2021 11:05:00
To mark the Urdd’s centenary celebrations, the Welsh Government will provide funding so entry into next year’s Urdd Eisteddfod is free, with the aim of making the eisteddfod accessible to all.
Council tax reform planned07/12/2021 14:05:00
Welsh Government Finance and Local Government Minister Rebecca Evans has announced plans for a consultation next year on an ambitious package of council tax reforms.
All eligible adults in Wales to be offered booster vaccination by end of January07/12/2021 11:15:00
The Health Minister will today (7 December) confirm all eligible adults will be offered the booster Covid-19 vaccination by the end of January.
‘Disrupt the transmission’ – latest Keep Wales Safe campaign launches06/12/2021 14:10:00
The latest phase of the Welsh Government’s Keep Wales Safe campaign which aims to ‘disrupt the transmission’ of COVID-19 is launching today (Monday 6 December).
£6.82m to support music and arts in new curriculum06/12/2021 13:10:00
Learners in Wales will have improved opportunities to play and learn with musical instruments, as part of £6.82m in funding announced by Education and Welsh Language Minister Jeremy Miles to provide additional music resources to schools.
Record level of investment sees 15% increase in training places for healthcare professionals in Wales to help support pandemic response06/12/2021 12:10:00
Record levels of more than £260m will be invested in training healthcare professionals in Wales in an effort to help the NHS respond to the pandemic and challenges in the future.
Every household in Wales will be given a free tree to plant as part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackle climate change06/12/2021 11:25:00
Every household in Wales will be offered a free tree to plant as part of the Welsh Government’s commitment to tackle climate change, Deputy Minister Lee Waters promised today.
First Omicron case confirmed in Wales03/12/2021 16:20:00
A case of the Omicron variant of concern has been confirmed in Wales.
THE Campus Live03/12/2021 15:15:00
'THE Campus Live' speech by Jeremy Miles, Minister for Education and Welsh Language.