Cowdenbeath constituency MSP Alex Rowley joined with Cllr Bob Young Fife Councils representative on the Scottish Coal Taskforce on a visit to St Ninians opencast mine near Kelty this week to meet with representatives of Hargreaves Surface Mining to discuss progress on the restoration of the St Ninians Mine and the Muirdean Mine at Crossgates.
Speaking after the visit Mr Rowley said; “Both sites are making good progress given the situation that was left when the companies operating the sites went bust. The insurance bonds have provided a degree of security that will ensure the restoration proposals that have been developed will be able to be carried out. I am also pleased that employment opportunities have been created in the process.
The MSP is however pressing for a greater level of transparency around the restoration plans and is asking the company and Fife Council to provide more information to the public. He said; “The company have responded and said they would be supportive of holding an open day event later in the summer so that local people can view the restoration plans and see for themselves how the work is being carried out and the timelines for completion of the sites as well as other developments that may be needed”.
Councillor Young echoed the view that progress is being made and said; “The coal industry is going through a difficult time and we have been more fortunate than many areas impacted by the demise of two large coal companies in that bonds were in place. There are still challenges however and I am continuing to work with council officers to ensure we can achieve the best result possible given the circumstances and I am committed to working with the company to make sure we are able to engage with local people ensuring they are up to date on all the issues and progress”.
Photo shows Alex Rowley and Bob Young at the opencast site near Kelty