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Councillors misunderstood nuclear dump vote - minister

Councillors who ruled Cumbria out of the running to host a nuclear repository “misunderstood the process” the Energy Minister claims.

Baroness Verma photo
Baroness Verma

Baroness Verma was responding to a letter from leader of Cumbria County Council Eddie Martin and deputy Stewart Young, in which they outlined the council’s decision and reasons behind it.

The Energy Minister’s response, which has been published online, refutes some of the reasons given by the council for voting against progressing to the next stage of the Managing Radioactive Waste Safely (MRWS) process.

Baroness Verma wrote: “In responding, I also feel it is necessary to note there were a range of errors in your letter and to draw attention to some key points, which I believe betray a misunderstanding of the process and the Government’s position.

“This is all the more surprising given your response to me in which you accepted the assurances and commitments the Government had made.”

The Cumbrian councillors said in their letter that while they “appreciated the minister’s considerable endeavours” to address their concerns, they have considerable anxieties.

Among these, the pair cited the worry surrounding the fact that the “right of withdrawal” had not been enshrined in statute. In a firm rebuttal, Baroness Verma responded that this had not been done because “councils do not need statutory powers to withdraw from a voluntary process”.

She continued: “Nonetheless, at your request, we undertook to make the Right of Withdrawal statutory, subject to future agreement with local Decision Making Bodies that this was the best option. This form of words was agreed with you in advance.”

Mr Martin responded: “We went to considerable lengths and took an enormous amount of time to get to grips with all the complex scenarios.

“There was not any single reason for our rejection: it was an accumulation of ten reasons. It’s a huge disappointment that the Government have failed to recognise the depth of feeling in Cumbria.”

Have your say

Let me tell you all now - whatever anyone says on here, IT'S NOT OVER YET.

There's somebody out there wanting to get these jobs, rightly or wrongly, coming to West Cumbria. And they will win.

I predict:
The work will come.
And there'll be years of employment.
And it will cost billions.
And lots of people will make a good living.
And lots of people will become even more wealthy.
And in the end, it will prove to be unsuitable. Again.

But hey ho, there you go. Where do I sign up for easy money?

Posted by Mr Scepticism Himself. on 26 March 2013 at 15:50

An underground nuke waste storage dump is not the answer. Why dont you people get educated and see what a toxic meance they are. They are designed to leak. Nuke waste of this calibre is un manageable.

Posted by Janet Thompson on 24 March 2013 at 14:29

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