MP hits out at coal mining charity

Sherwood MP Mark Spencer
Sherwood MP Mark Spencer

MP Mark Spencer has launched a stinging attack on a mining charity, claiming they are taking money out of the region with little investment in return.

The Sherwood MP made the claim about CISWO (the Coal Industry Social Welfare Organisation) after claiming money from the sale of land in former mining communities is not being ploughed back into the area.

Planning permission to develop the site of the old Thoresby Miners’ Welfare was recently given permission, and look likely to be sold off.

But Mr Spencer says he has not been given satisfactory answers as to where such cash would be utilised, and the cash from other areas of land that have been sold off.

He said: “We want a lot more commitment.

“It’s all anecdotal, but we are talking millions of pounds here, not ten of thousands, when you consider what development land is worth. I hope it is being invested in the right place.”

Mr Spencer said: “It seems to me that they are taking more money out of the area than they are putting in and it frustrates me.

“It begs the question, where’s it being spent?”

CISWO was set up to support former miners and their families.

CEO Vernon Jones vehemently denied that money raised from land sales was not being put back into then region, and told the Chad he did not understand why Mr Spencer had spoken out.

He said much of the cash was used to former miners and their families.

He said: “In 2015 our income was £4.18m and expenditure totalled £5.58m. We are therefore drawing down on our assets in order to meet levels of demand.

“Our main priority now is providing services and assistance to mining beneficiaries, the majority of whom are elderly and many of whom suffer from ill health, disability and social isolation.”