Alok Sharma Had It Within His Remit To Put a Block on Coal Authority Licences – Now He is Head of COP26

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

The press are full of the supposed feud between Alok Sharma former Secretary of State for Business and Industry (BEIS) and Robert Jenrick former Communities Secretary who refused to call in Cumbria County Council’s yes vote.

This seems like a faux ‘argument’ to big up Alok Sharma’s climate credentials as head of COP26. As BEIS Secretary of State Alok Sharma had it within his remit to put a block on the issuing of any new Coal Authority licences for this mine – the existing conditional licences were for eight years that was in 2013/4 they are due for renewal. Other unreported issues in the mainstream press include the appointment by BEIS of the CEO of the Cumbrian coal mine to the government committee (CORWM) which is pushing for the highly controversial, dangerous and unwanted deep nuclear dump. The so called Geological Disposal Facility would be adjacent to the deep coal…

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Tim Farron MP Urges Govnt to Have “Courage” and See That the Mine Does Not Go Ahead. Rubber Stamping Coal Authority Licences Would be Politically Unacceptable.

Government Urged to Have “Courage” and Allow “Full” Public Scrutiny of Any New Coal Mine Licences for Cumbria. Tim Farron MP has written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy saying “I am pleased to confirm that I have written to the Secretary of State for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy to urge that the renewal of the coal licence for the West Cumbria Mine be put to a full consultation. I have also challenged him to have the courage, where his cabinet colleague has not, and see to it that the mine does not go ahead”
This follows revelations by nuclear safety group Radiation Free Lakeland on the imminent lapse of West Cumbria Mining’s licenses from the Coal Authority.

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Image from Radiation Free Lakeland: one of West Cumbria Mining’s exploratory drilling rigs off St Bees in 2017- conditional Coal Authority Licenses were issued 8 years ago over the heads of the public and the local council.  One of the rigs accidently hit a methane gas pocket the Irish Coast Guard were called out.

Thank you to everyone who has already written to the Business Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary of State Kwasi Kwarteng MP urging the Government NOT TO ISSUE COAL AUTHORITY LICENCES.

There is a letter below from Tim Farron MP and the more letters from members of the public that ask for a full public consultation on the issuing of Coal Authority licenses for West Cumbria Mining the better chance we have of showing how politically unacceptable it would be for BEIS (who are responsible for the Coal Authority) to rubber stamp this dangerous plan over the…

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Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng – the buck stops with
BEIS in the issuing of Coal Authority LIcences for
West Cumbria Mining


The conditional Coal Authority Licenses for the diabolic plan to mine 3 million tonnes of coal a year under the Irish Sea and five miles from Sellafield are due to run out any day, the press have been told (repeatedly) but so far only a local online news site has reported on this (Many Thanks to the Cumberland Echo!) .

Please write urgently to the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS)

Please use this template below as inspiration to write your own letter – it doesn’t have to be long the main message is to say that the buck stops with BEIS and they should not issue Coal Authority licenses – the nuclear and climate consequences…

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COPELAND WORKING GROUP: Burying Heat Generating Nuclear Wastes is “The Right Thing to Do” No it Isn’t!

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Copeland “Working Group” along with Allerdale “Working Group” are ostensibly the “local support” for a Geological Disposal Facility in Cumbria. They are enthusiastically going along with the ‘new and improved’ process of steps towards Geological Disposal of Heat Generating Nuclear wastes. The last process was a bit of a “dogs dinner” (said pro nuclear George Monbiot who supports making ever more nuclear wastes by burning plutonium) in that it allowed Cumbria County Council to veto the plan and bring the whole process to a halt. This time the process dumps any semblance of democracy with the County Council now having no “right of veto,” now anyone, anywhere can “express an interest” in “site selection” with a “test of public support” and Geological Disposal has been made a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project (ie it can overrule local opposition in the “national interest”).

The stand out statement in the “Virtual Exhibition”…

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An Open Letter to the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng Who is About to Issue Coal Licenses for West Cumbria Mining

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

An Open Letter to the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. 

Dear Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng

You said yesterday that there is “a slight tension” between the governmnent washing its hands (Pontius Pilate like) of the Cumbria coal mine saying its a ‘local decision’ and the UK government’s committment to net zero carbon and its chairing of the UN Climate Summit in Glasgow in November.

The UK Dept for Business Energy and Industry Strategy argue that the coal mine is “a local decision” but in the awarding of new Coal Authority licenses to the developers (West Cumbria Mining) the buck stops with BEIS. Accountability of the Coal Authority lies directly with the BEIS. The first set of licenses is due to run out on 24th January.

As nuclear safety campaigners who have been opposing this mine since 2019 we are very…

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Do Not Rubber Stamp New Coal Authority Licenses for Cumbria!

West Cumbria Mining’s licenses are about to run out – Ask the Coal Authority Not to Renew Them!

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

exploratory boreholes resulting from the Coal Authority''s granting of conditional licenses over the last few years have largely been in the Offshore No 2 area including the one that inadvertently hit a methane gas pocket off St Bees necessitating the call out of the Irish Coast Guard.

West Cumbria Mining’s licenses to exploit/extract coal onland and under the Irish Sea are due to run out any day. They need new licenses in order to mine both under land and sea!

We have written to Tim Farron MP (see below) asking him to ensure that the Coal Authority Licenses for the first deep coal mine in the UK in 30 years are not renewed in a clandestine and undemocratic manner over the heads of the public without any scrutiny or consultation.

We have also written a brief letter to the Coal Authority which you can see below. Please do write to your own MPs asking them to ensure that the Coal Authority do not rubber stamp new licenses for West Cumbria Mining’s “Woodhouse Colliery”.

With Many Thanks for all your continued opposition to this dangerously crazy plan.


Dear Tim,

Thank you for your…

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Health First Priority for Teenagers Opposed to Coal Mine. Hunger Strike is Not the Way – Brave that it is

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

As we have said before, whilst admiring the passion and commitment of young campaigners we cannot endorse hunger strikes – its a very serious thing to do at any age but in teenagers is really disturbing regards health implications.

Once again we have tried to reach out to the young campaigners and climate groups to ask them not to encourage teenagers to damage their health or risk hospitalisation. Especially as this coal mine has to jump through so many more hurdles – there are lots of ways for young people to get involved in making sure those hurdles are sky high.

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South Lakeland Action on Climate Change Are Following Our Lead and Pushing Hard for a Judicial Review

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Coal Mine Goes Here? Photo by Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

South Lakeland Action on Climate Change have launched a crowdfund supported by Coal Action Network and Friends of the Earth in order to raise funds to challenge Cumbria County Council’s planning approval. SLACC are focussing on climate legislation. This is brilliant news, not least because it frees up our own campaigning to focus on the more taboo nuclear impacts of this coal mine. We fully support SLACCs proposed challenge and hope it results in success for all of us.

Our own crowdfund can be found here – We continue to work hard to ensure that the nuclear aspects of this mine do not go unchallenged. With the advice of our Lawyers Leigh Day, we are exploring the best way to do this having already delayed the plan with previous legal challenge.

Please do keep sharing our crowdfund to…

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TAKE ACTION! We Have Already Delayed the Coal Mine … Now We Need to Stop It.

Take Action (easy to do!!) – We have already delayed the Coal mine under the IrishSea – we can still stop it…

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole


Dear Friends,THANKS TO ALL who are donating and sharing, writing and campaigning –

without you this mine would already be underway!!  We have delayed it repeatedly,  now we need to stop it.

The Bad News!Robert Jenrick MP the Communities Secretary has decided not to call in the County Council’s Yes vote for a public inquiry.  

The Good News!The UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities have put their weight behind our campaign by urging Cumbria County Council to reconsider the impact of the expected subsidence of the Irish Sea bed and resuspension of the decades worth of radioactive wastes from Sellafield which are currently embedded in the silts of the Cumbrian Mud Patch.

Our fight against the mine continues and there are a couple of ACTIONS  people can take right now.

1.  Write to Cumbria County Council urging them to take the advice of the UK and Ireland…

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UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities Urge Council to Reconsider Radiation Issues of Coal Mine

Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole

Radiation Free Lakeland are delighted that the UK and Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities have thrown their weight behind our Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign to stop the Cumbrian Coal mine under the Irish Sea and just five miles from Sellafield.

In a press release yesterday the NFLA said :
The UK & Ireland Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) is very disappointed that the UK Communities Minister Robert Jenrick has decided not to intervene and ‘call in’ a decision by Cumbria County Council to approve a deep underground coal mine. It clearly goes against the Government’s zero carbon plans and the essential need to transfer our energy system from coal power to renewables.

West Cumbrian Mining has been seeking to build the mine off the Cumbrian coast and partially under the Irish Sea, and there has been considerable…

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