This excellent letter published below was sent yesterday to the House of Lords by Dr Chris Loynes of the Westmorland & Lonsdale Green Party. The letter outlines the many reasons why the House of Lords should throw out the plan to scrap democracy in order to accommodate the nuclear industry’s agenda.
Please feel free to make similar points in your own letters to be sent before Wednesday 3.45pm, when the Lords will be discussing this.
Send to : Cumbrian Lords including
Lord Inglewood: email@example.com
Lord Liddle: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lord Judd: email@example.com
Lord Rea: firstname.lastname@example.org
Lord Clark: email@example.com
Lord Bishop of Carlisle: firstname.lastname@example.org
There are over 700 Lords altogether – you can try another email to be forwarded onto ALL members of the House of Lords email@example.com
This will also be debated in the House of Commons – but the urgent letter for now is to the House of Lords!
Re Geological nuclear waste disposal
On Wednesday the House of Lords will consider in Grand Committee legislation that will remove the right of Cumbrian residents to have a say in whether nuclear waste is stored underground in the county. I am writing on behalf of Westmorland and Lonsdale Green Party to urge you to consider carefully the removal of this right and to encourage you to argue against the loss of an essential democratic element in the planning process for nationally significant infrastructure projects.
The Green Party are opposed to the further development of nuclear power but we recognise that the waste already generated must be stored securely and safely for the future. However, we believe this storage must be a transparent process open to scrutiny and engaging the public in a democratic decision about how best and where this should be done.
The 2013 public consultation into the siting of a GDF document states:
“Any planning application will need to take account of community views where they are relevant – but there is no requirement for community support inherent in the planning process itself.”
This is inherently undemocratic and shows a high level of disdain for those who would oppose GDFs, both locally and those who could be affected should water contamination occur. The consultation goes on to say:
“Through application of this voluntarism and partnership siting we would go further and require a demonstration of community support before development could proceed.”
How can community support for such a scheme be demonstrated if the decision is taken out of the hands of the local layers of government and placed squarely into the hands of the Secretary of State?
Cumbria County Council opposed the siting of a GDF in their area based on their careful scrutiny of the thorough scientific evidence; yet the local councils were swayed by the “community benefits” which is arguably tantamount to bribery. There are inherent dangers in the so-called ‘voluntarist approach’ especially since UKOOG has defined ‘community’ as perhaps being the sole tenant on any given site. But to abandon the democratic process completely, by adopting the process for a NSIP and exclude locally-elected councilors, county officials and removing the need for public consultation will result in the British populace feeling like they have had this GDF rammed down their throats.
We ask you to help sustain the rights of every citizen to be engaged in making this difficult decision.
Ppc for Westmorland and Lonsdale Green Party