Seismic Blasting? “This Matter Has Now Been Dealt With” by a handful of people on Copeland Executive

The “wonderful fish” described in Harper’s Weekly on 24 October 1868, was likely the remains of a basking shark. Harper’s Weekly – Ellis, R. 1994. Monsters of the Sea. Robert Hale Ltd. Basking Shark are just one of the “protected” species in the Irish Sea that would be impacted by the seismic blasting plan.

This is the letter received yesterday from Copeland “Corporate Governance and Legal Monitoring Officer” to our request that the petition of nearly 50,000 be heard and debated on by the full council rather than the handful of people in the Executive most of whom have vested nuclear interests.

Dear Ms Birkby,

Thank you for your email below.

The Petition was considered at Executive on 12th July 2022, in accordance with the procedure set out in the Constitution of Copeland Borough Council, for dealing with Petitions submitted by members of the public.  

The Petition was heard in public and considered by the Executive. In receiving the Petition, it was clarified that Copeland Borough Council had no regulatory powers or authority to intervene directly. However, the council had undertaken checks to ensure Nuclear Waste Services had all the regulatory requirements and had undertaken the necessary consultation

This matter has now been dealt with.

You refer to an extra ordinary meeting of full council on 20th July. The agenda for this meeting has already gone out, items cannot be added.

Yours sincerely,

Miss Hartley

Miss Nicola Hartley

Head of Corporate Governance and Legal

Monitoring Officer

Copeland Borough Council

Copeland Borough Council, Whitehaven Commercial Park, Moresby Parks, Whitehaven, Cumbria, CA28 8YD

Sent: 14 July 2022 15:47
To: Nicola Hartley <>
Subject: Petition to be discussed by Full Council

Dear Ms Hartley,

I believe there is to be an extraordinary meeting of the full council on Wednesday 20th July.

The Council is in Partnership with Nuclear Waste Services and Radioactive Waste Management who are about to seismically test with airgun arrays the Irish Sea.

The Executive of the council have brushed aside a petition of almost 50,000 opposed to the plan and to the way that The Partnership have sought to circumvent the normal regulatory process.   Oil and Gas developments would not be permitted to seek an exemption under “scientific research and surveys” but that is exactly what The Partnership has done.

The seismic survey is not for scientific research it is for a commercial venture by a Ltd Company – Radioactive Waste Management Ltd – a Partner with Copeland Borough Council.   The full council has never had a vote on entry into the Partnership – and now the Council are being  co-opted as patsies to steamroller developments that should follow regulatory process and consultation.  This is very disturbing to witness.

We urge the council to discuss the lack of consultation with the public and with councillors over this matter.   There are calls worldwide for seismic surveying using airgun arrays to be banned so to see the way in which the nuclear industry has co-opted the council into this plan is very disturbing.

This is an issue that should be debated and voted upon by the full council.  If the seismic testing goes ahead unchallenged by Copeland council the next step would be very deep boreholes drilled into the Irish Sea bed – would these also be achieved by circumventing regulatory process?   

We urge this issue to be put on the agenda for 20th July

Yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby

Radiation Free Lakeland

Please find attached


Letter to the Marine Management Organisation

Letter to Nuclear Waste Services

2 thoughts on “Seismic Blasting? “This Matter Has Now Been Dealt With” by a handful of people on Copeland Executive

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