By Election candidate Susan Leslie has called on local residents in Saline and Kingseat to back Willie Rennie MSP’s call for an independent inquiry into the collapse of mines at Blair House and St. Ninian’s, and other open cast mines across Scotland.

Willie Rennie MSP has begun a letter campaign to over 2000 local residents in areas affected by mine closures seeking their support for his calls for an inquiry. Friends of the Earth, RSPB and other organisations are backing Mr Rennie’s call for a full investigation into the failings on restoration costs which came to light after the collapse of Scottish Coal.

Mr Rennie raised this issue directly with First Minister Alex Salmond at Holyrood last month. The First Minister rejected calls for an independent inquiry.

Commenting, Susan Leslie said:

“These failed coal companies have ripped up our environment and left others to pick up the costs of putting it right.  We need an independent inquiry to establish what went wrong but the SNP government has so far blocked the plan.  With the support of the residents directly affected by the collapse of the mines we hope to be able to persuade the Scottish Government to change its mind.

“We are left with the consequences of their reckless actions. We have been repeatedly assured that the mistakes of past mine failures had been learned. It now seems that the opposite is true.

“When permission was given for open cast coal mining in Fife, local people were told that the mining companies would be made to pay to clear up their mess and for restoration. We all know that hasn’t happened and Fife council has had to work hard to make the current insurance bonds pay out.

“Towering bings, polluted water and plumes of dust are what residents now have to endure. I am astounded that the Scottish Government do not want to establish the truth behind these failures.  What do they have to hide?”