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Rennie calls for Scotland-wide review into opencast restoration costs

July 1, 2013 1:43 PM
Originally published by Scottish Liberal Democrats

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP has todayWillie RennieWillie Rennie renewed his calls for a Scotland-wide public inquiry into the failure of the open cast coal mining industry.

This follows a meeting of the Scottish Government's Coal Taskforce in East Ayrshire today where it was revealed that the council is to launch an independent review into the events that led to the failure of the industry.

The SNP Council Group in Fife have also called for an inquiry within their area.

Commenting after the meeting, Mr Rennie said:

"After today's meeting with the Coal Taskforce I strongly believe that we need a nationwide review into the events that led to failure of the opencast sector. We need to do everything to avoid the situation where local communities are left to deal with the economic and environmental legacy of failed open-cast sites. We need to learn the lessons of past mistakes.

"Communities don't need a blame game: the damage is already done. But failing to look back into the past will only prevent us from learning crucial lessons. With East Ayrshire Council holding a review that will report by November and SNP members in Fife calling for an inquiry in the Kingdom there is now a strong argument for the Scottish Government accepting the case for a nationwide inquiry. The Minister is wrong to say that such an inquiry would be a distraction. His own members in Fife disagree with him too. He needs to follow their advice and hold an inquiry."