Article from THE KESWICK REMINDER 27th April 2012
A public outcry has led Keswick Town Council to agree to reconsider its vote on government plans to site an underground nuclear repository in West Cumbria.
Dozens of local residents turned up at last Thursday evening’s annual parish meeting to voice their concerns about safety over the controversial plan because of what they regard as the unsuitability of the local geology.
At a previous meeting Town Councillors had voted 6-5 on the casting vote of Chairman and Mayor Councillor Andrew Lysser not to oppose the plan.
The objectors, who also claimed that the potential jobs boost had been exaggerated, said they were prepared to call for a referendum if the Council had refused to reconsider the issue.
However, after listening to the objectors, the Council agreed to reconsider the vote at its next meeting on Thursday 17th May, when the issue will again be debated.
Speaking afterwards, the opponents’ spokeswoman Ann Martin said: “It was a great moment when Councillor Lysser, who’d had the casting vote to support the nuclear reopository last time, became one of the three councillors we required to re-consider the issue. Out of 34 councils who have voted (on this issue), only Millom, Brigham and Keswick are in support.”
Councillor David Etherden, who had voted in favour of the nuclear repository last month, said he wanted to examine the scheme. He felt it would bring a much-needed jobs boost to an area suffering from a declining population: “Ninety-five precent of our local kids leave Keswick because there is no work.”
He said it was projected that the 11 secondary schools currently in West Cumbria would fall to three in 10 years, adding: “I am not prepared to lose Keswick School.”
But his comments prompted a reaction from the public gallery, with a shout of: “We don’t want a radioactive dump underneath us.”
Local resident *Keith Richardson countered: “As a Lakelander I am very proud of this area and support it being a World Heritage Site. But it won’t help our case if we have a nuclear waste repository underneath us. That (tourism) is where jobs are going to come from”.
Councillor Lysser said he was happy for the issue to be reviewed
Note: Many thanks to Mary for sending Radiation Free Lakeland a hard copy of this important Keswick Reminder article to post online
* Keith Richardson