Hooray! We will all have jobs in the future, although there won't be much of an opportunity to check our mobile phones at the desk, as the new jobs lined up for part of Cumbria involve digging coal out of the ground.
Cumbria County Council has granted approval for a new coal mine to be opened in the county, where operator West Cumbria Mining plans to invest as much as £165m on digging the black stuff out of the ground so it can be burned away and turned into modern commodity par excellence electricity.
The local MP is backing the project because it creates jobs, albeit ones not many people might fancy doing unless ordered to by the job centre. The planning decision meeting was disrupted by activists who staged a sit-in protest in council chambers, complaining that in this age of environmental concerns we oughtn't really be digging up rocks to process and burn.
Lib Dem council chair Geoff Cook explained the hot potato decision with: "It wasn’t an easy decision. All of us would prefer to reduce our reliance on fossil fuels and we recognise that during construction there will be disruption to many local residents. However we felt that the need for coking coal, the number of jobs on offer and the chance to remove contamination outweighed concerns about climate change and local amenity." [Independent]