South Wales mining communities 'still feeling' job cuts

Miners at the pit head The legacy of the miners' strike is still felt in Wales' coalmining heartlands, study finds

Related Stories

Former coal mining communities across south Wales are still blighted by poverty and unemployment following pit closures, a new report claims.

The Sheffield Hallam University study found a "disturbing picture" of areas hit by the 1984 miners' strike.

The research for the Coalfields Regeneration Trust says more support in those areas is needed.

Researchers said the decline in the coal industry is still visible in the jobs market, benefit claims and health.

Start Quote

The miners' strike of 1984/5 may now be receding into history but the job losses that followed in its wake are still part of the everyday economic reality”

End Quote Prof Steve Fothergill Sheffield Hallam University

More than 25,000 Welsh mineworkers lost their jobs in the decade-long programme of pit closures following the miners' strike.

Today, just 1,200 work in the industry.

However, the coalfield communities in Wales still account for a quarter of the entire Welsh population.

According to the study, it had left those areas in Wales with the lowest "job density" of all 16 coalfield communities across England, Wales and Scotland.

Outside of Wales, researchers found there were 50 jobs for every 100 residents of working age in the coalfield areas studied.

In south Wales, it is just 41 for every 100 residents.

Health and wealth

Only half the job losses following the south Wales pit closures have been replaced, adding to a "substantial pre-existing employment problem", the study found.

Prof Steve Fothergill, who led the research, said: "The statistics demonstrate that there is an on-going need for economic regeneration in the coalfields and that in the meantime coalfield communities remain under acute stress.

Miners from Maerdy at meeting in 1985 Post-strike just 1,200 people now work in coal in Wales

"Indeed, the welfare reforms that are currently underway - and still have some way to run - are hitting the coalfields disproportionately hard.

"On balance, the evidence provides a compelling case that most of the coalfield communities of England, Scotland and Wales require support."

The problems facing the coalfield communities in the south Wales valleys was further highlighted when the study examined health issues in the areas.

The report authors found that those claiming Disability Living Allowance stood at 10.4% - almost twice the British average of 5.4%.

The South Wales area also topped the list of coalfield communities reporting bad health, with 9.8% saying their health was bad or very bad. The GB average is 5.6% and the average for south east England is 4.3%.

"The miners' strike of 1984/5 may now be receding into history but the job losses that followed in its wake are still part of the everyday economic reality of most mining communities," added Prof Fothergill

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories



  • Nigel Farage (left) and Douglas CarswellWho's next?

    The Tory MPs being tipped to follow Carswell to UKIP

  • A painting of the White House on fire by Tom FreemanFinders keepers

    The odd objects looted by the British from Washington in 1814

  • Sailing rock in Death ValleyRock and roll

    Mystery of Death Valley's 'sliding rocks' solved - and more tales

  • Chris and Regina Catrambone with their daughter Maria LuisaSOS

    The millionaires who rescue people at sea

  • Plane7 days quiz

    What unusual offence got a Frenchman thrown off a plane?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.