Ministers have been told to drop their Local Authority ‘veto’ idea, and to focus on doing more to build community confidence and trust. That is the headline conclusion from a review of responses to the Working With Communities (WWC) consultation that have already been published. Although not a statistically representative sample of the responses submitted, the opinions come from all corners of society. All the expert and public evidence received during the policy development phase said that giving any tier of local government a ‘veto’ over the process would undermine the policy and any concept of ‘community consent’. Despite that near unanimous opinion, Ministers still decided to include proposals that would give local authorities the power to block the will of the community. There has been a consistent and broad-based push back to those proposals in the published consultation responses. GDFWatch believes a veto power would make a mockery of the Government’s own consent-based policy and mean the siting process would be DOA. Community and place-based organisations, while fully recognising the integral role of local authorities, were equally critical of the proposal
GDF Watch 20th April 2018 read more »
Nobody is disputing her personal abilities or competence, but the appointment of Lorraine Baldry as the new Chair of Sellafield Limited raises concerns about potential conflicts of interest within the geological disposal programme. Baldry was also recently appointed Chair of the Radioactive Waste Management Advisory Council. The Council is an independent group of experts who advise RWM, the GDF delivery body, on how to best progress the geological disposal programme. RWM is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) — Sellafield Limited is also a wholly-owned subsidiary of the NDA. This means Baldry will be advising RWM on geological disposal, while also running the company which currently owns most of the waste destined for geological disposal and has a very vested interest in the GDF. Potential conflicts of interest between the NDA and RWM were raised by Minister’s own independent expert advisors, the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM) in their most recent Annual Report in January 2018.
GDF Watch 22nd April 2018 read more »