High profile Westmorland and Lonsdale MP Tim Farron has lent his support
to Radiation Free Lakeland’s calls for a halt to the plan for ‘geological
disposal’ of high level nuclear wastes in Cumbria. He has said:
“I have similar views to you on nuclear as you
know, and I’ve often thought it odd that a county that depends so much on
tourism based on its tranquility and beauty can cheek by jowl have
nuclear waste storage! I will pursue this carefully!”
The reply from Tim Farron is in response to a letter from Radiation Free
Lakeland highlighting the conflict of interest within Cumbria Tourism who
are carrying out a “Brand Protection Strategy” to protect Cumbria from the
perception of a nuclear dump sacrifice zone.
Eric Robson the Chair of Cumbria Tourism owns the PR company,
Osprey Communications who have been awarded the government contract
to push Cumbria along the “steps towards geological disposal.”
Mr Robson will feature on this sunday nights BBC 1 program about
Wainwright’s Long Walk.
Proposed changes to authority boundaries would mean that the tourist
“honey pots” of Bowness and Windermere would be under Copeland – the
authority who have expressed enthusiasm for ‘geological disposal’.
Marianne Birkby from Radiation Free Lakeland has said “the use of PR
companies to promote a high level nuclear dump is obscene enough but to
have employed the company owned by the celebrity Chair of Cumbria Tourism is PR Spin at its most machiavellian!
Letter sent to Tim Farron MP by email today
Cumbria is preparing a "Brand Protection Strategy" to protect it from a
high level nuclear dump The best Brand Protection Strategy is to say NO
to the geological disposal of high level nuclear wastes in a mine or mines
as big as Lake Windermere and as deep as the Eiffel Tower.
Both Cumbria Tourism and the Chamber of Commerce who are drawing up the
Brand Protection plan have interests in nuclear developments.
The Chair of Cumbria Tourism is Eric Robson, owner of the PR company
Osprey Communications. Radiation Free Lakeland have called for the
resignation of Eric Robson from either Cumbria Tourism or for his PR
company to pull out of the lucrative government contract promoting "steps
towards geological disposal."
The Cumbria Chamber of Commerce is now wholly funded not as it should be
from central government but by the nuclear and arms industry - Sellafield
Ltd and BAE.
The proposed boundary changes mean that Bowness and Windermere would be
under the Copeland Authority - the authority who have expressed most
enthusiasm for a high level nuclear dump!
Please Please expose the PR spin.
A good start would be to urge Cumbria Tourism (based in Staveley) to
either drop Mr Eric Robson as Chair - or insist that he pulls his PR
company (based in Burton in Kendal) out of the government contract
promoting "steps towards geological disposal."
Radiation Free Lakeland
Correspondence with Managing Director of Cumbria Tourism
---------------------------- Original Message ----------------------------
Subject: RE: Cumbria Tourism Review of GDF Impact on Tourism
From: "Ian Stephens"
Date: Mon, September 19, 2011 3:46 pm
To: Marianne Birkby
Thank you for your note. For the purpose of clarity, the Review
mentioned by Cllr Knowles is being managed by a panel made up of
representatives from the MRWS partnership and focuses on investigating
the potential damage to the Lake District and Cumbria brand that could
arise as a result of any further progression of a nuclear waste
repository in West Cumbria and the preparation of a 'Brand Protection
Strategy'. CT and the Chamber of Commerce prepared the brief on behalf
of the MRWS Partnership and we are currently short listing potential
consultancies to undertake the work. The process is entirely transparent
and has not involved Osprey Communications or Eric Robson at any stage.
From: Marianne Birkby
Sent: 19 September 2011 12:07
To: Ian Stephens
Subject: Cumbria Tourism Review of GDF Impact on Tourism
Dear Mr Stephens,
At the meeting of Cumbria's Cabinet in Barrow last thursday Councillor
Tim Knowles informed members of the Cabinet and campaigners opposing
geological disposal that Cumbria Tourism was carrying out a review into
the impacts of geological disposal.
This was offered as a reassurance.
Less than reassuring and perhaps no coincidence, the Chair of Cumbria
Tourism- Mr Eric Robson, trusted and even loved by the public is the
owner of the PR company awarded the government contract promoting
"steps towards geological disposal." It is reasonable to suppose that
the Chair of Cumbria Tourism will have some influence either directly or
indirectly on the outcome of the Cumbria Tourism review looking into the
impacts of geological disposal.
We feel that this is an untenable situation. Mr Eric Robson has already
made clear in an email to Radiation Free Lakeland his feelings towards
those opposing nuclear developments :
"You're not being stitched up. Just challenged.( Which I know is
difficult to accept for those of a green and furry disposition who
believe they have a divine right to acceptance.)"
Eric Robson's reassuring voice - the voice of BBC's Gardener's
Questiontime is on the Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely Partnership
film promoting geological disposal.
Radiation Free Lakeland would like to ask that you consider Eric
Robson's position. He is, we are sure an excellent ambassador for
Cumbria Tourism which makes his position as gamekeeper and poacher all
the more dangerous
- or from the government's point of view all the more useful in the push
for geological disposal.
Radiation Free Lakeland
4. The small Barrow earthquake of 1865 was made much worse by something called liquefaction. This is when water shoots up from deep within the earth and causes a sinking sand effect. This is what happened in Christchurch New Zealand and caused such devastation.
Barrow in Furnesss is the ONLY known liquefaction event in the UK
5. With such a legacy of high level radioactive wastes in West Cumbia any
possibility of increasing the risk of earthquakes by mining an area deeper than scafell is high
and 25 km square is insanity.
On thursday 15th September Radiation Free Lakeland will speak to the Cumbria
County Council Cabinet meeting in Barrow and present a petition of 1530 signatures.
The petition calls on Cumbria County Council and Copeland and Allerdale
Borough Councils to halt the cleverly named Managing Radioactive Wastes Safely process.
The MRWS process has one agenda:
“steps towards geological disposal” which means a newly mined area (or two or three) stuffed with intermediate and high level radioactive wastes – in a hole(s) bigger than Lake Windermere and as deep as the Eiffel Tower.
The mines would be cut by giant earth boring machines and explosives of the kind
used tosmash the 7 mile tunnel through the now abandoned Yucca Mountain nuke dump
project carried out by URS Washington (who are now based in West Cumbria).
The government is keen to avoid "scaring the horses" and certainly up to
now there have been no cries of outrage of Cumbria's usual movers and
shakers. This is partly due to the 'tentacle' effect of NDA money and
also due to the government hiring an award winning PR company (owned by
Eric Robson - Chair of Cumbria Tourism and Paul Gardner former political
speech writer) and other facilitators at £1M a year to ensure the "steps
towards geological disposal" continue by smooth promotion alongside the
undermining of dissenters. For example the petition was given virtually
no mainstream media support and RAFL has been accused of "scaremongering"
by the MRWS.
It is crucial to the plan for new nuclear build and ever more hazardous
waste that Cumbria continues along the toxic "steps to geological disposal."
The British Government produced a video in 1999 which made a far stronger
case against 'geological disposal' in Cumbria than any petitioner such as
Radiation Free Lakeland could hope to. The video 'The Pangea Project' was
pushing for a nuke dump in Australia following the failure of Nirex - and
advises that areas of "high rainfall, permeable rocks and hills and
mountains to drive the water flow" would guarantee high level radioactive
wastes migrating to the surface. In other words geological disposal of
high level nuclear wastes in an area such as Cumbria would make that land
too fiercely radioactive to sustain life.