The summit brought together Welsh Government ministers, Rhondda Cynon Taff Leader Andrew Morgan, as well as representatives from local government, the Coal Authority and Natural Resources Wales, to address the waste coal heaps that remain as a legacy of Wales’ industrial history as the world’s biggest coal exporter.
First Minister Mark Drakeford said:
“Making sure Welsh communities are not disproportionately hit by the legacy of coal mining – both from a safety and financial perspective – is a matter of social justice. We heard that the UK Government understands the significance of this. I stressed the importance of looking positively at how they can support immediate and longer term costs of this issue that far predates devolution.
““The collaborative working I have seen with local authorities, the Coal Authority and Natural Resources Wales, alongside the Welsh and UK governments has been exemplary. All have worked hard to ensure that practical actions have been possible, despite the challenges of coronavirus.
“We must move quickly to get the work done so our communities living in their shadows feel safe and free from worry.”
Secretary of State for Wales Simon Hart said:
“The UK government remains absolutely committed to working closely with the Welsh Government, the Coal Authority and other partners to ensure Wales’ coal tips are properly managed and the public is informed about their safety.
“The summit reiterated the need for all parties to contribute actively and effectively to this work, which has continued throughout the coronavirus crisis, so our coalfield communities are kept safe.”