The Welsh labour Government not taking coal tip safety seriously?

First Minister Mark Drakeford should apologise to all residents fearful of coal tip landslides after laughing while being questioned on the serious topic in the Senedd today (Feb 1).

Drakeford started laughing as Welsh Conservative leader Andrew RT Davies MS pointed out that the Labour administration could’ve already ended the nightmare facing residents in the Valleys by repairing coal tips.

Davies told Drakeford during FMQs that the hundreds of millions of pounds wasted on Labour’s failing Cardiff Airport vanity project could’ve gone towards protecting communities from landslips – which is when Drakeford started chuckling.

After spotting Drakeford smirking, Davies hit back: “I can see you laughing First Minister, but there are many communities in the Valleys who look at this as a nightmare situation for them and cannot sleep at night.

“So you might chuckle standing in this chamber First Minister, but it is not a laughing matter. You have the responsibility, you had the money, and you had the choices to do it, why haven’t you done it?”

But Drakeford just put the blame at the UK Government’s door – despite the fact the safety and funding of coal tips are devolved to the Senedd and have been for decades.

The Labour First Minister also refused Davies’ offer to work together to make sure a timetable for repairs is put in place to end residents’ worrying and suffering – a move which shows he is “playing politics with people’s lives.”

Davies’ calls for action comes after various recent media reports found a 2014 document which said that funding to reclaim coal tips was “unlikely” to be provided by Labour ministers unless there was a business case.

The document specifically identified Tylorstown tip, which was involved in a dangerous landslide during Storm Dennis in 2020, as one with “stability issues” for which there was “no funding.”

Speaking outside the chamber, Welsh Conservative Leader, Andrew RT Davies MS, said:

“To see the First Minister laughing about something so serious and which is causing residents’ across the Valleys unimaginable worry is unbelievably insulting.

“The Labour government in Cardiff Bay has more than enough money to make our coal tips safe and they’ve had the opportunity, but instead of cracking on with the job – they’ve been more interested in pointing the finger at Westminster.

“Labour ministers must stop playing politics with people’s lives and take responsibility and deliver the funding necessary to protect our communities and resolve this matter once and for all so people across the Valleys can sleep easier at night.”

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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