ODPM Press Notice

Session 2002-03  17 July 2003



Britain's coalfields are home to over 5m people - 8% of the population. During the last two decades of the twentieth century, all but a handful of mines were closed, resulting in the loss of 94% of mining jobs in England alone. In some coalfield areas, where mining was the predominant industry, two thirds of employment was lost, with devastating effect on the local economy and community.

The Committee has resolved to carry out an inquiry into Government policies in the coalfield communities in England, in particular looking at:

•Policies to create employment opportunities;

•The reclamation and regeneration of sites;

•Links with health, welfare, education and other social issues;

•The roles and responsibilities of the various agencies involved; and


The Committee is particularly interested in progress made against the Action Plan for the Coalfields published by DETR in 1998.  This is available on the internet at www.urban.odpm.gov.uk/programmes/coalfields/report/index.htm

The Committee invites written evidence on the points above and other relevant topics by Friday 26 September. It is unlikely that evidence submitted after this date will be published. (Witnesses who wish their evidence to be treated in confidence should contact the Committee clerk in advance.) It should also be noted that decisions about who to call for oral evidence are likely to be taken on the basis of evidence received by this date.[The form which such evidence should take is set out below -  please note in particular the restriction on length and that wherever possible it should be submitted by e-mail or on disk].

Oral evidence sessions will be arranged and will be announced in due course.

Contact: Claire O'Shaughnessy, Committee Specialist 020 7 219 6755


Written evidence must if possible be submitted in an electronic format, either on disk or preferably by e-mail. It should be in MS Word or Rich Text format.  If sent by e-mail it should for this inquiry be sent to odpmcom@parliament.uk.  The e-mail must include a contact name, telephone number and postal address. The e-mail should also make clear who the submission is from. If sent by post it should be sent to the Clerk, ODPM Committee, Committee Office, House of Commons, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA. Witnesses without access to a computer are respectfully requested to take particular care that submissions are legible.

Submissions should be as brief as possible, and certainly no more than 3,000 words. Paragraphs should be numbered for ease of reference, and it would be helpful to include a brief executive summary. Those submitting evidence are reminded that evidence should be original work, not previously published or circulated elsewhere. Once submitted no public use should be made of it. Guidance on the submission of evidence can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/commons/selcom/witguide.htm

Further details of the Committee, including its current membership, can be found on the Committee's homepage at http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/odpm.cfm  Information about the Committee can also be obtained from 020 7219 4972.