As the former Leader of Cumbria County Council, it was my Cabinet and I who rejected the last search process for a radioactive waste, Geological Disposal Facility in West Cumbria, orchestrated by the MRWS process, for a substantial number of reasons. including: No statutory, enshrined Right of Withdrawal from the process; No Sovereign Wealth Fund for Cumbria – in perpetuity; Plethora of expert opinion against the geology – NOT rebutted by the NDA; No proposals for a Strategic Environmental Assessment; Allerdale ruled out nem con. by all Cabinet Members; Copeland too small without infringing designated and protected areas; Significant democratic deficit. No credible local or Cumbria-wide support; Huge potential for planning blight/property devaluation; Received no commitment to invest in international standards of safe surface or sub surface storage (e.g. Sweden); the ‘twin-track’ approach, in effect; the adverse findings of the NAO and the highly critical comments by the Public Accounts Committee (Margaret Hodge et al); But, nonetheless, emphasising the County Council’s total commitment to urgent alternative investment in Sellafield and West Cumbria – not least, the infrastructure, but with no forthcoming guarantees from the government. Nothing has changed, except for yet another rebranding exercise and a White Paper which seeks to sideline county councils. I am now writing to you – ahead of the House of Lords debate on 6th September on the “Draft NPS for Geological Disposal Infrastructure” – as a Director of Cumbria Trust.
Cumbria Trust 23rd Aug 2018 read more »
‘Help protect Cumbria from nuclear waste disposal plan’. Ex council leader’s plea to county’s peers ahead of House of Lords debate.
Whitehaven News 22nd Aug 2018 read more »