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Welsh Government accused of ‘hypocrisy’ over lack of action on coal tip which later slipped

08 Jan 2022 3 minute read
The aftermath of the Tylorstown landslide which happened during Storm Dennis in 2020

The Welsh Government have been accused of “hypocrisy” for not acting sooner on a coal tip that later slipped.

Campaigners for clearing coal tips in the south of Wales pointed to a 2014 document that noted that the coal tip at Taylorstown had “stability issues” but noted that there was “no funding” available for a reclamation scheme.

The document by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council notes that “the Welsh Government has traditionally funded reclamation at 100%”. ut in this case the Welsh Government had “informed the council that it is unlikely to fund future reclamation work unless there is a ‘business case’ for it”.

“The focus of the business case being on economic outputs such as bringing forward development land.”

The document adds that “this leaves the other sites, some of which have historical stability issues, without potential funding and an increased future liability for the Council”.

It lists among these the “Tylorstown and Llanwonno Tips”. In its response to a coal slip following Storm Dennis in 2020, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council identified the tip that slipped as the Llanwonno Tip.

The Welsh Conservatives said that the document showed that the Welsh Government’s “hypocrisy” was “staggering”.

“It appears the Labour Government in Cardiff Bay have put profit over safeguarding communities, which flies directly in the face of the recent rhetoric we’ve heard from ministers,” Tory MS Janet Finch-Saunders said.

“Labour have been in power for two decades and had ample opportunities to protect people and communities by making these coal tips safe, but as ever, they’ve chosen not to act, instead they’ve opted to blame others.

“It’s Labour’s responsibility to fix these tips – no ifs, no buts – and there can be no more excuses as lives are potentially at stake.”

Data released by the Welsh Government in October identified over 300 tips in the highest risk category across the country and estimated it will take up to 15 years and cost between £500 – £600 million to make them safe.

At the time, the Welsh Government asked the UK Government for financial support to clear the coal tips, saying that they were a problem created before devolution.

“It is indefensible that the UK Government has refused to work with us and provide funding to support the long-term remediation and repurposing of coal tips in Wales,” Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evans MS, said at the time.

“These tips are a legacy of the UK’s industrial past. The need for work to address this impact of disruptive climate change was unknown, and provision was not made when Wales’ funding arrangements were agreed in 1999.

“The UK Government had an opportunity to show it is would stand behind the communities whose efforts created huge wealth for the UK, instead it has chosen to turn its back on them.”

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2 years ago

bags of scope in this one for all parties to ramp up the rhetoric. However only the UK Gov has the means to sort it so the ball must remain in their court. Drakeford needs to initiate legal proceedings if necessary to show how serious he is on this matter. These are the dangerous scars of an extractive industry that was wholly owned by UK Gov for decades yet they did NOTHING about the hazards they left behind. I’m marginally in favour of taking coal but take the view that you make a mess fetching it out of the ground… Read more »

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
2 years ago

As much as the Welsh Government should have acted sooner – it is the responsibility of the UK government to secure these coal-tips or at least give the Welsh government the resources and financal aid to do so.The coal was extracted well before the Senedd was created. It is hypocritical of the Welsh Tories to criticise when their own party in London doesn’t give a toss.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
2 years ago

The biggest problem to do with the labour party is how can they make a big row with the conservative party when they the labour party. Robbed the fund set up for the children of Aberfan. Taking the money to move the coal tip that had Killed them The tip was the property NCB. Sorry i can’t see the labour party making a fuss after what they did then

2 years ago

Our children sit n laze in the comfort of bubble gum for the mind social media echo chamber numbness and accept everything whilst questioning nothing. The powers that be, love us accepting everything and questioning nothing. We,the Cymru.the first nation people. must now awaken from our state induced amnesia and embrace our heroic historical narrative.We pre date the Romans Saxon and Norman by millennia and we have forgotten how to be proud. We are still here. Despite everyone and everything.We have such an epic history of survival against all odds.yet we downplay this to our children? The new ,’ Welsh… Read more »

Grayham Jones
2 years ago

The English government pinched the welsh coal now they got to pay for the removal of the tips not wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 we in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 start fighting for your children and grandchildren future in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

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