By Rachael Grealish
Various Cumbrian MP and leaders have responded to the news the Secretary of State for local Government has called in the plans for the West Cumbrian Mine.
Yesterday evening, Thursday March 11, it was announced by Robert Jenrick the decision on plans for the Whitehaven coking coal mine should be made at a national level – rather than returning to Cumbria County Council’s development control and regulation committee as previously agreed.
The decision was praised by the Liberal Democrat’s MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, Tim Farron, who called it ‘fantastic’ on social media and expressed his hope for the plans to be ‘axed’.
He tweeted: “Fantastic news that the Government have woken up to the fact that this mine would be an alrighty backwards step in our fight against climate change.
“I hope this leads to these plans finally being axed, and the Government instead looks at bringing long-term, green jobs to Cumbria.”
But over in West Cumbria, the MP for Workington, Mark Jenkinson, expressed, not only, his disappointment but said the government’s decision to call in the plans ‘represents a risk to significant private sector investment in Cumbria and the Government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda’.
“My disappointment in tonight’s announcement on the West Cumbrian coal mine cannot be understated,” he said, “This represents a complete reversal of the position taken just 8 weeks ago [by Government], and a capitulation to climate alarmists this represents a risk to significant private sector investment in Cumbria and the Government’s ‘levelling-up’ agenda.
“The application would have created 500 well-paid jobs, a further 2000 in the supply chain and significant further benefits to the local economy.”
Jenkinson has previously been vocal on his stance in support of the mine going ahead and went on to say he ‘will continue making the case’ for the mine.
“I look forward to a public inquiry, where we can have a grown-up discussion around the importance of coking coal to steelmaking and of how Lord Deben’s sixth carbon budget fully expects ongoing use of coking coal in steelmaking,” he continued, “away from sensationalist tweets and headlines I will continue making the case for the role that UK mined coal will play in getting to Net Zero by 2050 and making that case to the Planning Inspector.”
Trudy Harrison, who is MP for Copeland – who’s constituency the mine will be in – has been contacted by the Herdwick News, as has the Copeland Mayor, Mike Starkie.
Cumbria County Council has also been contacted with request for a response to the news.