Calls from Midlothian MSPs for locals to give miners’ strike evidence

Stand-off at Bilston Glen during miners strike
Stand-off at Bilston Glen during miners strike

Midlothian’s two MSPs have called on locals to consider giving evidence to the independent review of the impact of policing on communities during the miners’ strike.

A call for evidence has been issued by the review following the announcement of its establishment in June by the Scottish Government.

Now local SNP MSPs Colin Beattie and Christine Grahame are calling on anyone affected by the strike, which took place between March 1984 and March 1985 to make their voices heard.

The review is led by John Scott QC, assisted by an Advisory Panel, comprising former MP and MSP Dennis Canavan, Professor of Public Law at the University of Glasgow Jim Murdoch, and former assistant Chief Constable Kate Thomson.

An interim report is expected in January 2019 and a final report expected by June 2019.

They are seeking to gather as much information as possible about the experience of communities during the miners’ strike, with the evidence gathered informing their report and any recommendations made to the Scottish Government.

Commenting, Ms Grahame, MSP for Midlothian South, Tweeddale and Lauderdale, said: “The miners’ strike may have taken place over 30 years ago, but I recall those events and the dreadful sight of police horses charging into striking miners.

“Representing Midlothian communities I am well aware that strong feelings about it persist in many of these areas.

“This review is a chance for those affected to put on record the impact that policing during this time had on them.

“And I’d encourage anyone who was a miner, part of a mining community, a police officer or in some other way affected by the strike to consider submitting a response.”

Mr Beattie, MSP for Midlothian North and Musselburgh, added:“Mining has been the lifeblood of many Midlothian communities going back decades. Many families will still be living with the memories of the horrific events during the strikes.

“We now have a chance to properly analyse what occurred in the period between March 1984 and March 1985.

“I hope anyone who can recall these events will take the opportunity to submit evidence, no matter how small the detail may be.”

The call for evidence can be found here and responses are requested by Friday, November 30.