Tory MS calls for Welsh Government to take responsibility for making coal tips safe
A Conservative MS says the Welsh Government must take responsibility for making coal tips in Wales safe.
Last week the government confirmed 327 tips at 2,456 sites across the country are classified as higher risk and has called for funding from Westminster to help make them safe.
In September Finance and Local Government Minister Rebecca Evans said the UK Government had a “legal and moral responsibility” to step up because it is a pre-devolution issue and said it should use this autumn’s Spending Review to share responsibility and allocate long-term funding.
It has been estimated that at least £500m to £600m will be needed over the next 10 to 15 years.
Last week, more disused coal-tips in Wales were classified as being at 'higher risk', up from 295 to 327.
— Janet Finch-Saunders MS/AS (@AberconwyMS) October 20, 2021
Speaking in the Senedd, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Climate Change, Janet Finch-Saunders MS, said that with, “potential heavy rainfall set for Wales this winter, residents and businesses need assurances that measures are being taken promptly to safeguard them.
“Our communities deserve a Welsh Government which is honest about its responsibilities and proactive in its protection of those at high risk. Yet, whilst inspections on higher-risk tips have now commenced, the Welsh Government continues to argue over where the funding needed is going to come from,” she added.
“It is the provisional view of the Law Commission, in their consultation paper, that coal tip safety falls within devolved competence. It is time that the Welsh Government accept and agree with this view.”
Based on information from the Coal Authority, the Welsh Government has estimated that more than 40 per cent of all the UK’s coal tips are located in Wales and around one in seven of these are classed as high risk.
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