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John B Dick

A book by an American Unitarian Minister is the best holiday reading anyone ever had. It is called "Everything I need to know I learned in Kindergarten" That's the theme of the first chapter, (originally an article or sermon) and the rest of the book is good, but not quite as good. It was added at the request of the publisher to make the first chapter publishable at book length.

So once you have got the idea of the first chapter, you can fall asleep on the beach or in your garden chair, and now that I have told you about it, you don't even need to carry it in your holiday baggage.

The things the author learned include: "don't hit people", - "say "sorry" if you hurt someone" and so on.

In the present case:

"Clear up your own mess."

In an extraction industry, reserves need to be set aside for terminal costs. The estimated costs need to be revised periodically and interest on the reserves also recalculated.

The money needs to be there at the end and not part of the assets available to creditors in liquidation, so it needs to be invested outwith the company. If that means the deal is not attractive and the developer walks away at the outset, then you know that the project is uneconomic if the cost of restoration is included. Such a deal would be equivalent to making one offer while planning to deliver another.

Any developer not willing to accept such terms should be shown the door. If a salesman for financial services did such a thing selling to vulnerable pensioners would risk finding himself in court.

Gullible councillors are too easily taken in. Do those who approved the un-restored mines ever admit their culpability. Do council and Health Board members who approved PFI schemes ever get named and shamed?


We do not recall Government,Local or National, even blinking an eye at the loss of jobs from the Douglas valley in the past. Ramage Distribution,Douglas Plastics, KRG, Incamet ect, all gone now,literally hundreds of Local jobs with no apparent clamor from Government for intervention to save jobs then. Why the special case for Scottish Coal ? With regard to the suggestion of deregulating the restoration of the opencasts , who will end up paying for all the huge holes in our landscape to be filled in? Our guess is that if Scottish Coal (A private company which exists to provide profit to their investors) cannot engineer a plan to make money filling them in (such as a landfill or rubbish tip) it will be ultimately be taxpayers money again that gets used to restore them, if at all.

If our ex South Lanarkshire councillor ,Danny Meikle was to be believed correct when talking about British Coal (A nationalized company) and their responsibilities regarding restoration of Douglas Castle Colliery(a mere pin prick in the mess we now have from the subsequent opencasts he supported since then) at Douglas in 1992,
"British Coal should be told to clear up the mess up there(Douglas West) as a moral obligation.They caused the mess up there over the years, they should be made to clear up after themselves. They cant be allowed to just walk away and just leave it the way it is", Cllr Danny Meikle said. From Lanark Gazette, Friday 27th March 1992.

Does Mr Meikle, our new politicians and South Lanarkshire council ,still stand by these criticisms and apply them to the far greater mess we are left with now through the length and breadth of our valley,thanks to Scottish Coal?

South Lanarkshire council ultimately obtained this colliery site at Douglas, and did end up using public funds(our money) to restore this land.
It may all be set to happen again we fear..

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