Subscribe to our free daily newsletters
. Earth Science News .




Subscribe to our free daily newsletters



THE PITS
Targeted regeneration could be key to boosting coalfield communities

Between 1984 and 1997, 170,000 people lost their jobs in coalmining as pits closed across England and male employment in the English coalfield area fell by twenty-five per cent. Pit closures left coalfield communities with many problems including environmental degradation, economic disadvantage, social deprivation and poor health outcomes. These have been exacerbated in some places by physical isolation, poor road access and inadequate infrastructures.
by Staff Writers
Durham, UK (SPX) May 19, 2011
Decades after the pit closures, coalfield communities still face significant health problems and economic difficulties, according to new research.

A Durham University-led study shows that health problems including long term limiting illnesses such as chronic arthritis, asthma and back problems, are significantly more likely in some of these areas.

However, the results, published in the Journal, Health and Place, also reveal that some less deprived coalfield areas are faring relatively well in terms of health.

Some of these areas seem to have weathered the economic storm better in terms of health, suggesting that regeneration efforts and resilience of local communities may be helpful for health and wellbeing, as well as for the economy and jobs.

The findings reinforce calls for increased and more focussed government assistance, particularly in poorer, predominantly rural coalfield communities.

Co-author of the Durham study, Professor Sarah Curtis, Department of Geography, said: "Coalfield areas vary considerably and it's essential that government policy recognises the different levels of support that are needed and helps the areas with the greatest need.

"Some mining communities have struggled and need more assistance, whilst others have fared quite well, demonstrating considerable resilience in the wake of the huge job losses that affected these regions.

"A lot can be learnt from the success stories and regeneration schemes that have worked well. It will be helpful to share knowledge about the conditions fostering that success."

Researchers at Durham University's Institute of Hazard, Risk and Resilience, the Dalhousie University, Canada, and Teesside University, looked at self-rated outcomes for health in a national survey of 26,100 individuals.

These include 4,750 people from the country's 55 coalfield areas, who were compared with others in the survey living in other areas across England. They found that people living in coalfield communities were 27 per cent more likely to report having a limiting long term illness.

Between 1984 and 1997, 170,000 people lost their jobs in coalmining as pits closed across England and male employment in the English coalfield area fell by twenty-five per cent.

Pit closures left coalfield communities with many problems including environmental degradation, economic disadvantage, social deprivation and poor health outcomes. These have been exacerbated in some places by physical isolation, poor road access and inadequate infrastructures.

A recent government study, the Clapham Review, highlighted the need to tackle coalfield inequalities. The government has launched a Pounds 30m fund to provide assistance over two years via the Coalfields Regeneration Trust (CRT). The fund aims to help the most challenged coalfield areas to become self-sustaining communities, overcome health and skills inequalities, and develop their own plans for economic growth and community renewal.

The results of the Durham-led research show that while significant problems remain, particularly in some of the more deprived coalfield areas, other areas have fared much better.

Professor Curtis added: "Communities that 'bounced back' from the pit closures of the 1980s may have been more able to adapt and may have had more local resources to overcome the job losses that hit them. The aim of regeneration is to help all mining communities to do this."

The researchers emphasise that better economic conditions, well-being and health go hand-in-hand and believe that their research could help to identify areas that might benefit the most from regeneration especially from initiatives like the CRT.

Andy Lock, Assistant Director at the Coalfields Regeneration Trust said: "The study confirms our experience of working in coalfields over the last ten years. We know that health problems are still very severe in some places and our challenge from Government is to continue to address health inequalities.

"Our success is built on working collaboratively with communities and to support their responses to local health needs. We have also led on activity such as our Midnight League and Sports Legacy programmes that have engaged thousands of people in healthy lifestyle activities and we will continue to work with communities to develop solutions that reduce the health issues highlighted in Durham University's study."



Share This Article With Planet Earth
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit
YahooMyWebYahooMyWeb GoogleGoogle FacebookFacebook



Related Links
Durham University
Surviving the Pits



Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


THE PITS
Seven dead in China mine accident: state media
Beijing (AFP) May 18, 2011
Seven people have been killed in a gas accident in a coal mine in southwest China, state media said Wednesday - the latest fatal incident to strike the nation's notoriously dangerous collieries. The accident took place late Tuesday in Weixin county in Yunnan province, the official Xinhua news agency quoted a county government spokesman as saying. Thirteen miners managed to escape, the s ... read more







THE PITS
Quake-hit New Zealand takes axe to public services

US extends relief for undocumented Haitians

Japan TEPCO workers enter reactor building

Doctors defy radiation woes in Japan's Fukushima

THE PITS
Amazon selling more Kindle books than print books

China slaps export quota on rare earth alloys

Malaysians protest Australian rare earths plant

Google stops digitizing old newspapers

THE PITS
Ocean warming detrimental to inshore fish species

Industry rejects criticism on role in UN water policy

China admits Three Gorges Dam problems

Heavy rains a suspect in sharks' deaths

THE PITS
Research aircraft Polar 5 returned from spring measurements in the high Arctic

Denmark plans claim to North Pole seabed: foreign minister

Ecological impact on Canada's Arctic coastline linked to climate change

Canada PM's Arctic stand 'frosty rhetoric'

THE PITS
Post-Mubarak Egypt 'running out of food'

Exploding melons sow new China food fears

Livestock genes could protect against one of Africa's oldest animal plagues

Drought tolerance in crops: Shutting down the plant's growth inhibition under mild stress

THE PITS
Australian flood costs top $6 billion

New Zealand inquest told of quake victims' last moments

Local tsunami alert after 6.5 quake off Papua New Guinea

US bid to save Louisiana cities from historic flooding

THE PITS
British PM rejects pressure on aid budget

Sudan stages new Darfur air strikes: UN

Mozambique wages war on man-eating crocs

Humanity can and must do more with less

THE PITS
The roots of memory impairment resulting from sleep deprivation

Clubbers can smell a good nightspot

Sporadic mutations identified in children with autism spectrum disorders

Computer program aids patients in end-of-life planning


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2010 - SpaceDaily. AFP and UPI Wire Stories are copyright Agence France-Presse and United Press International. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by SpaceDaily on any Web page published or hosted by SpaceDaily. Privacy Statement