Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/761/16528
Maltby pit closure: TUSC councillor speaks out
On 6 April, hundreds of miners marched in Maltby, South Yorkshire to mark the closure of the town's colliery.
The mine's owner, Hargreaves Services, recorded profits of £43.1 million in 2012. 40% of Britain's energy still comes from coal, most of it is imported.
TUSC Maltby town council councillor Joe Robinson (21) took 60% of the votes cast, photo by A Tice
Joe Robinson, a 21-year-old Trade Unionist and Socialist Coaltion Maltby town councillor, spoke to the Socialist.
"It's a terrible loss of identity for the town. Hargeaves have made significant profits while closing this pit at the expense of Maltby residents.
There are no job opportunities for young people in Maltby at the moment. Our unemployment is twice the average for the Rotherham borough, which in turn is twice the national average.
Of the 550 miners, 250 have been redeployed, 200 have been made redundant, and older miners have taken retirement.
We should be renationalising our large industries and running them for the benefit of all people. In times of mass unemployment, things like mining and house-building programmes could be just the sort of things to get us out of this mess, especially in the north of England where we don't have a large service sector.
Wind turbines are planned at the side of Maltby in Doncaster, but I'd encourage a lot of investment into tidal energy because the amount of energy that can be produced is phenomenal.
The focus of Maltby town council in these austere times ought to be picking up the services that are being hacked off by the borough council for the benefit of our community. Local level government should be about helping local communities.
There was no statement released by Maltby town council over the closure. No action has been considered for it. I did raise that at a meeting but nothing was resolved."
"One of the last few pits closing is terrible news for Maltby and the whole of Yorkshire. During the mayoral election campaign in Doncaster we have been to many of the former pit villages.
It would have been depressing to see the poverty and closed shops if it wasn't for the unbeatable working class spirit and the support for our ideas and the chance of a socialist mayor to bring the changes needed to regenerate Doncaster.
Thatcher is dead but Thatcherism lives on. The TUC needs to stop pontificating and organise the first of a series of one-day general strikes to stop the onslaught of cuts to our jobs and living conditions.
As for the taxpayer paying for Thatcher's funeral! How dare they even suggest it? If they want it then let them pay for it!"
Mary Jackson, Doncaster TUSC mayoral candidate
In The Socialist 17 April 2013:
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