NuGen CONsultation in Kendal
The Cumberland News reported yesterday in sycophantic mode on the “Fantastic” Feedback over Moorside Nuclear Power Station Plans. The article looks like it was pulled straight from NuGen PR Man (formerly Copeland Borough Council’s Lead Planning Officer) Fergus McMorrow’s press release and goes on to say:
“Fergus McMorrow, NuGen’s planning lead in Cumbria, said: “We have had a fantastic response. The numbers of people through the doors, and those logging-on to use the online portal, has surpassed all our expectations.
“It’s not just the sheer number of visitors that’s impressed us, but their level of interest and engagement. For example, we’ve had lots of people come back to see us on several occasions to find out more or to give us greater in-depth feedback”.
No mention of the protests outside Whitehaven, Kendal, Carlisle and Penrith, protests which included music, leafletting, hundreds of people pledging to boycott Toshiba (Toshiba are 60% NuGen) and 8000 people signing the ongoing Stop Moorside petition.
No mention of the experience of Irene Sanderson from North Cumbria CND who has written to the press with a “request that you make the public aware that this was not a public open-to-all consultation as required for this type of development.
“I attended the consultation at Penrith Methodist Churhch on 8 July. In the lobby on a table to one side I laid out three small piles of A5 literature with information from CND (Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament) on radiation and nuclear power and from Radiation Free Lakeland stating the protest to the Moorside development, all valuable background information relevant to the consultation. I sat by the table out of the way in peace reading. Not many people attended that morning and all four rushed past me.
“Fergus McMorrow took it upon himself to challenge my presence. Eventually he had me ejected into the street from the Methodist church on the grounds that Nugen had hired the hall and my presence was creating an unfavourable impression about their project. The management informed me that Nugen had hired the hall and it was private property and indeed Nugen could dictate who entered the building. That is to say this was a private event and in no way an open-to-all public consultation”.
Irene concludes with : “Nugen states that 1,700 people viewed its plans during the 10-week consultation. The population of Cumbria is just under 500,000 so only 0.34% of the population attended. This could indeed indicate a determined effort to keep their plans private”.