More support for Orgreave Inquiry
Chesterfield Borough Council to join growing band of authorities call for a public inquiry into Orgreave
Councillors in Chesterfield are calling on the Home Secretary Amber Rudd to ‘think again’ about her decision not to hold an inquiry into the policing of picket lines at the Orgreave coking plant during the miners’ strike in 1984.
The controlling labour group has tabled a motion to be discussed at the borough council’s next meeting on Wednesday 13 December, which is expected to receive overwhelming support.
The authority is set to join a growing band of councils up and down the country who have condemned as a ‘grave injustice’ the Home Secretary’s decision in October last year not to hold an inquiry into events at the South Yorkshire coking plant on 18 June 1984.
The motion, which reads: “This Council opposes the Home Secretary’s decision which rules out an inquiry into the behaviour of the police during the picketing at the Orgreave coking works in the summer of 1984″, is to be moved by Councillor Peter Innes, a former miner who picketed the Orgreave site during the strike.
“Her decision not to hold an inquiry into what happened at Orgreave is appalling,” said the Labour member for Old Whittington.
“It shows total contempt for the many former miners, their families and communities in our area who have waited patiently for decades for the truth, especially for those who were at Orgreave that day.”
The Independent Police Complaints Commission’s report into the events cites evidence of excessive violence by police officers, perjury by officers giving evidence to prosecute the arrested men, and an apparent cover-up of that perjury by senior officers.
“Many of the 95 miners who were beaten unconscious or seriously injured by the police on 18 June 1984 then arrested and charged with riot offences, but later acquitted, were from communities in our area,” said Cllr Innes.
“By refusing to look into what really took place that day the Home Secretary fails to recognise the impact her decision has had on many of our residents, where children and grandchildren of miners continue to fail to have trust in the police.”
Craig Mansell, a miner arrested at Orgreave and member of the Orgreave Truth and Justice Campaign, said: “We believe what happened that day represents one of the most serious miscarriages of justice in this country’s history, the legacy of which can still be seen in today’s former mining communities.”
• The council meeting starts at 5pm on Wednesday 13 December 2017 at the Town Hall, Rose Hill, Chesterfield S40 1LP. A photo call will take place at 4.30pm.
Agenda item 21
• Cllr Innes can be contacted at Peter.Innes@Chesterfield.gov.uk
• During the 1984 – 85 miners strike there were around 8,500 miners working in north Derbyshire, many of whom lived in the Chesterfield Borough Council’s area and worked at Markham, Arkwright, Shirebrook, Ireland, Pleasley, High Moor and Renishaw Park collieries.