A COMMITTEE formed from people living in the communities around a proposed new County Durham surface mine has held its first meeting.

Banks Mining invited representatives from the communities closest to the site of the planned Bradley surface mine to be part of a project liaison committee it was setting up to ensure information on all aspects of the scheme and its operations could be shared between the company and community.

The meeting was held at the Dipton Jubilee Centre, with Durham County Councillor Alan Shield being elected as committee chair and fellow Councillor Ivan Jewell chosen as vice-Chair for its first year.

Meetings will now be held regularly in alternative locations in the coming months, while Banks Mining continues with preparations for potentially commencing work on and around the site later this year.

Councillor Shield says: “The role of the liaison committee will be to ensure that this project transitions through its preparatory, operational and restoration phases as smoothly as possible, and that the promises being made about how the site will work are properly kept.

“We want to see all views and opinions, including those who object to the mining operation, represented at these meetings, so that issues and ideas can be raised and addressed directly with the project team, and to make sure that the communities of Leadgate, Medomsley and Dipton are not unduly affected by this development and realise the benefits that this scheme should deliver over the long term.”