Julie James MS, Minister for Climate Change
The Law Commission for England and Wales was commissioned by the Welsh Government to undertake a detailed review of the legislative framework relating to coal tip safety in Wales. The review concluded on 24 March 2022 with the publication of its report ‘Regulating Coal Tip Safety in Wales’ for consideration by the Welsh Government. The final report was also laid in front of the Senedd Cymru and published on the Law Commission’s website.
In accordance with the protocol agreed between the Welsh Ministers and the Law Commission on 2 July 2015, an interim Government response on the Report is to be provided to the Law Commission within 6 months of its submission and publication. A more detailed response is to be provided within 12 months.
Today, I am pleased to have published the Welsh Government’s interim response to the Report. In particular it sets out the Government’s response to the Law Commission’s views on how the current regime primarily relates to an active industry and is no longer appropriate today because:
- there are no requirement in legislation to provide consistent categorisation, minimum levels of expertise or consistency in approach to inspections;
- there are limited powers for a local authority to intervene, for example, only where it considers there is instability;
- local authorities have no power to oversee routine maintenance of tips and no powers to compel a tip owner to undertake even basic maintenance requirements to make a tip safe; and
- there is no oversight and monitoring of inspections and maintenance of disused coal tips.
The interim response can be accessed at:
We continue to consider the 36 recommendations set out in the Report, which will be the focus of our detailed response to be issued in March 2023.