Coalfield funding safe, says Government

NEWS that cash aid for coalfield communities has escaped the Government’s spending axe has been welcomed.

 

Grant Shapps, Minister of State for Communities and Local Government, has confirmed that funding will continue and has praised the work of the Coalfields Regeneration Trust, which has put £10m into South Yorkshire in the last two years alone.

Shadow health secretary John Healey, MP for Wentworth and Dearne, said: “I am pleased the government is not turning its back on the coalfields, as the Tory government of the 1980s and 1990s did.

“The CRT is needed now as much as it was in 1999. It is needed in the coalfield areas that are still struggling, those that were hit harder in recession and will find it harder to grow again in recovery.

Mr Healey has long campaigned on behalf of coalfield communities and when he was a minister in the last Labour government, he commissioned former Barnsley MP Mick Clapham to review the coalfields regeneration programme started under the Labour government in 1999.

That review was published in October and Mr Shapps has accepted many of the report’s findings.