A local Euro MP has expressed her disappointment at the Government’s decision to allow two of Britain’s remaining coal mines to close.
The announcement means Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire will close by next year, with the loss of at least 600 jobs.
Business Minister, Michael Fallon, announced on Thursday that the Government had agreed a £10m commercial loan deal with UK Coal, which owns the mines. The deal will allow UK Coal to implement a phased-in closure of the pits by the autumn of 2015.
But mining unions had been calling on the Government provide state aid in order to keep the mines open until 2018 and safeguard 1,300 jobs.
Glenis Willmott, East Midlands MEP and Labour’s Leader in Europe said:
“The closure of Thoresby Colliery could see up to 600 people lose their jobs and will be a huge blow to the local community.
“The Government originally told unions that EU rules prevented them from giving state aid.
“But in the a meeting with mining unions, the European Commission were clear there was nothing preventing the UK from using state aid, and said they would be open to working with the UK to find a way to keep the mines open.
“This decision is just the latest example of this Government’s failure to stand up for ordinary, hard-working people and I am greatly disappointed.”