Weekend march and rally to call for Thoresby Colliery to be given a reprieve

Thoresby Colliery
Thoresby Colliery

A march and rally is to take place this weekend in a fresh move to highlight the need to keep pits like Thoresby Colliery open.

The event takes place at Kellingley Colliery in West Yorkshire - one of the last three deep coal mines - to put pressure on the Government to accept the current state aid bid and extend the life of the mines to 2018.

Labour’s Sherwood Parliamentary candidate Leonie Mathers and Bolsover MP Dennis Skinner will take part in the march and rally.

Said Ms Mathers: “For almost a year we’ve put pressure on our Tory MP (Mark Spencer) and his Government to allow a state aid bid which would keep Thoresby open till 2018.

“But they’ve used every trick in the book to delay the bid, and now it’s almost certainly too late.”

It was announced last year that Thoresby would close with the loss of hundreds of jobs.

In September, pit operator UK Coal secured funding to close the colliery and Kellingley later this year.

Since then union officials have battled to put together a package to save the pit, which is the last deep mine left in Nottinghamshire.

The Government has already pledged a £4m loan to help keep the pit open in the short term.

Yesterday Sherwood MP Mark Spencer said he was working hard behind the scenes to make sure the remaining 600 miners at the pit received the best possible financial package.

He said he continues to speak with George Osborne on a weekly basis about the pit’s future but said he did not think he could convince the Chancellor to part with £300m - which he says UK Coal is asking for to extend the pit’s life.

He said: “It’s a fragile position to play party political games.

“I think I am better doing (things) in private rather than shouting at Ministers in the press.”

The NUM ex and retired section is putting a bus on to the event. For details contact the NUM on 01623 416 895.