Toxic Waste

Oral Answers to Questions — Wales – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 22nd March 2000.

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Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd Labour, Cynon Valley 12:00 am, 22nd March 2000

What discussions he has had about disposal of waste from the former Phurnacite plant in the Cynon Valley with environmental authorities (a) inside and (b) outside Wales; and if he will make a statement. [114266]

Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Wales

I meet regularly with the Environment Agency Wales—we met most recently on 1 March 2000—and discuss a wide range of issues. I have also spoken with the First Secretary about that site.

Photo of Ann Clwyd Ann Clwyd Labour, Cynon Valley

I hope that my right hon. Friend will discuss the former Phurnacite plant, as I have been talking about it ever since I was elected to Parliament. It was the worst industrial polluter in Britain when it closed down 10 years ago, and the toxic waste that was left is still on the doorsteps of the people of Abercwmboi. There is an impasse between the local authority and the Welsh development agency. Whatever method is used to dispose of the toxic waste, will the Government make available extra funds to pay for its disposal?

Photo of Paul Murphy Paul Murphy The Secretary of State for Wales

I am obviously conscious of my hon. Friend's interest in the matter. Indeed, some years ago she and I visited the site and I am aware of the difficulties that have arisen because of its situation. My hon. Friend may rest assured that I shall raise the matter with the First Secretary at the first available opportunity.

Photo of Anne McIntosh Anne McIntosh Conservative, Vale of York

Has the Minister had a chance to consider the impact on the Phurnacite plant in the Cynon valley of the climate change levy and the—[Interruption.]

Photo of Miss Betty Boothroyd Miss Betty Boothroyd Speaker of the House of Commons

Order. The plant no longer exists. We are discussing the toxic waste that remains.