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Friday, 01 August 2014

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Campaigners boycott underground store consultation 'in protest'

Anti-nuclear campaigners are boycotting a Government consultation into a massive underground nuclear storage facility.

Radiation Free Lakeland has hit out at the Department of Energy and Climate Change after it revealed plans last week for a new siting process for a Geological Disposal Facility.

The pressure group has circulated a letter to Cumbrian parish councils calling for them to object to the consultation, which would see the decision on whether a community should show an interest in hosting the facility, taken at a borough-council level rather without the county council having a say.

Marianne Birkby, of Radiation Free Lakeland, said that the group would not be responding to the national consultation and will be “boycotting” it in protest at Cumbria being “once again in the frame”.

Ms Birkby believes any new consultation should not include Cumbria as the county pulled out of the previous process earlier this year.

“Radiation Free Lakeland do not believe the ‘solution’ is geological disposal anywhere,” she said. “There is no ‘solution’ as such but an acceptance that the waste needs to be looked after and repackaged again and again into eternity to separate it from the environment.

“If the Government is hell bent on geological disposal the people of Cumbria have said no and the search for a geological disposal site should continue elsewhere.”

As part of the new process, borough councils such as Allerdale and Copeland, would hold the reins as Cumbria County Council would lose their chance to veto any decision.

Radiation Free Lakeland has called this a “scandal”.

“The 84 members of the county council have been airbrushed out of this new ‘democratic’ process alongside the hundreds of members of the parish councils. The overwhelming majority of whom have said no repeatedly,” said Ms Birkby.

“This leaves the seven people on the executive of Allerdale and six people on the Copeland executive – the wishes of less than 13 people who have voted to proceed are being promoted against the democratic will of the parishes and the county.”

The pressure group is asking parish councils to “let the Government know they are not a willing community.”

The consultation runs until December 8.

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