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Union chief laments problems facing UK coal industry

The general secretary of TUC has offered immediate help for UK Coal workers and their families after this morning's announcement.

Frances O'Grady also says that the government's decision to reject funding for the pits points to a wider problem.

The Government needs to find an alternative strategy that offers better energy and job security. Our EU competitors provide significant long-term state support for their mining industries, and here in the UK we should do the same.

– Frances O'Grady, TUC general secretary

Shadow energy secretary Caroline Flint has urged the government to turn its attention to the workforce and communities.


MP: Kellingley funding refusal is 'bitterly disappointing'

Yvette Cooper says the government's refusal to grant state aid for Kellingley Colliery is "bitterly disappointing".

I’m bitterly disappointed that the Government has decided not to support any state aid for Kellingley at all. This means over 600 skilled men and women are set to lose their jobs. It’s a massive blow to everyone after all the campaigning and work we’ve done to try and persuade Ministers to help.

Yet at every point Ministers have dragged their feet and we've seen deliberate Government delays and misinformation that have made it much harder and more costly to keep the pits open.

– Yvette Cooper

Government rejects bid to save pits from closure

The Government will not provide an extra £338 million to keep UK Coal's pits at Kellingley in North Yorkshire and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire open for a further three years, ministers have announced.

The decision confirms that the two pits will close by the end of the year leaving one deep mine left in the UK, at Hatfield in South Yorkshire.

Business minister Matthew Hancock said committing public sector funding on the scale necessary to extend UK Coal's closure plan by three years was not affordable and did not represent value for money to the taxpayer.

"The £338 million requested approximates to a cost of more than £75,000 per UK Coal employee per year over the three-year closure plan," he said.

The minister added that the Government was prepared to provide additional funding to keep the closure plan on track.

UK Coal has asked for an extra £10 million so the closures can go ahead this year.


Swiss college to open book of condolences for Hull man killed in Alps disaster

The Swiss college where Paul Bramley was studying has opened a book of condolences in his memory.

César Ritz College in Lucerne also says it will hold a minute's silence for Mr Bramley who was studying hospitality and hotel management.

It is with deep sadness that Swiss Education Group learned that Paul Bramley, a student of César Ritz Colleges Lucerne, was killed in the Flight 4U9525 Germanwings plane crash. The group’s Executive Board expresses its heartfelt sympathy and extends its condolences to his family and loved ones during this difficult time. César Ritz Colleges will be offering grief counselling support to Paul’s classmates and friends. A minute's silence in memory of Paul has been planned, as well as a book of condolences in which students and staff can express their emotions about this tragic loss.

– Swiss Education Group

York marks reburial of King Richard III

A model of the face of King Richard III Credit: PA

Events are being held across York today to mark the reburial of Richard the Third. The last King of the House of York is being re-interned in Leicester Cathedral after his remains were found during an archaeological dig. A legal challenge for him to be buried in York Minster was defeated. There will be a a Choral Evensong in memory of the King at York Minster at 5.15pm.

King Richard III's coffin arrives outside Leicester Cathedral, next to a statue of Richard III, in Leicester Credit: PA

Parents call for junk food ads to be banned before 9pm

New statistics show the majority of parents in Yorkshire and the Humber believe stopping children being exposed to junk food adverts could cut childhood obesity.

The British Heart Foundation (BHF) polled 2000 UK parents and found 57% of parents in the Yorkshire region believe that stopping children being exposed to junk food adverts could help towards tackling the obesity crisis in children.

The charity is delivering a 30,000 strong petition to Downing Street calling on the government to ban the ads before 9pm.

Junk food companies are exploiting legal loopholes in the regulatory system, allowing them to continue bombarding children with junk food adverts. Over 30,000 people have backed our campaign to ban these adverts before the 9pm watershed. By protecting young people against the sophisticated marketing techniques of junk food advertisers we can help tackle the obesity crisis which threatens the heart health of future generations. We urge the UK Government to heed the public's clear call and take immediate action.

– Mike Hobday, Director of Policy at the British Heart Foundation
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