UK COAL is to ballot miners at a North Yorkshire coal mine over a £10 million closure programme offered by the Government.

A group of National Union of Mineworkers members at Kellingley Colliery met on Sunday and voted against Government’s proposals to loan £10 million to owners UK Coal to help it manage the closure of Kellingley and also Thoresby pit in Nottinghamshire over eighteen months.

But UK Coal says it does not believe that the meeting’s show of hands was representative of the feelings of all 700 staff and it is now organising the ballot, which will take about a week to complete.

The company has warned that the ballot result will determine the future of both pits, with employees at both sites required to support the plan, and the collieries could shut ‘very soon’ if the staff vote against the deal.