Coal-fired Power Stations — [Joan Ryan in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 2:30 pm on 27th April 2016.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Amanda Milling Amanda Milling Conservative, Cannock Chase 2:30 pm, 27th April 2016

My hon. Friend will not be surprised to learn that I agree. We need to create a level playing field to allow us to compare biomass with other renewable sources, such as solar and wind. Unfortunately, as regards creating a level playing field, I fear that this debate comes too late for Rugeley B.

On a positive note, where there were once mines and Rugeley A, there are new homes, business parks and logistics centres, which have created thousands of new jobs. The change in the industrial landscape demonstrates the area’s resilience in adapting to the challenges it faces. The chairman of the Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire local enterprise partnership referred to the area’s resilience in a recent letter to me, citing the changes over the past few decades since the closure of the pits. Over recent years, under a Conservative-led Government, Cannock Chase has been doing well. Unemployment has fallen, with the claimant rate falling by 75% since March 2010. Apprenticeships are on the up, and new business start-ups are increasing. However, despite the local success story over the past few years, the news that Rugeley B may close this summer is a blow to all of us who live in Rugeley.