Agenda item

Notices of Motion

The following Motion has been received from Councillor Iain Greaney:

 

“As someone who believes that nuclear energy generation should and probably will need to have a place in a new greener energy policy for the country and also as someone who has an in-depth understanding of the need to build the UK’s long term nuclear Geological Disposal Facility, the submission of this motion to defer GDF appraisal process in the borough of Allerdale, is not taken easily.

 

“I have had a meeting with the NDA representative Steve Reece and also the Independent Chair of the Allerdale GDF working group Jocelyn Manners- Armstrong, who I believe to be genuine participants in the process, however this did not alleviate my concerns.  As a result, I believe the current decision on the proposed designated GDF search area being proposed by the Allerdale working group is flawed / unsound and needs to be re-appraised as a result of failures in the decision-making process.

 

“The justification for the motion is the significant technical omissions from the assessment which renders approximately 50% of the proposed designated search area completely out of scope, lack of community participation in the decision-making process and a political driven agenda by the conservative Allerdale executive committee.

 

“The real crux of the issue is the newly defined Allerdale GDF designated search area includes 50% of the exclusion zone as determined in the British Geological Survey (BGS) report; Initial Geological unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria (2010), which concludes that this exclusion area is an area not suitable for consideration for the siting of a Nuclear Geological Disposal Facility.

 

“Therefore, how can the public have confidence in this first phase, if the Allerdale GDF working group have selected an area that comprises 50% of which has already been classified as unsuitable by the BGS. This seems to be the most basic of errors and indicates the working group have not done their homework correctly.

 

“It seems the Allerdale working group are getting the significant basic decisions wrong at such an early stage, without being held accountable. The concern is, they will inevitably continue in this vein as a direct result of these poor early decisions becoming embedded in the process which in turn will have an effect on all future decisions. Irrespective of the £1 million payments the council will receive for continuing to the next phase in the GDF assessment, as councillors we have a moral responsibility to ensure this process is checked if concerns are highlighted and this motion will provide an opportunity to do this.

 

“We have to take an impartial but objective approach when it comes to the siting of a Nuclear Geological Disposal Facility and our aim should be; not to get ‘a site’ but to get the ‘safest site’

 

“Therefore, I propose that:

 

“Allerdale Borough Council agrees to request Executive that it withdraws all council members and officers from participating in the Allerdale Nuclear Geological Disposal Facility working group/ Community Partnership and any processes associated with the assessment /selection of a viable site for the UK’S Geological Disposal Facility in the Borough of Allerdale. This recall should be with immediate effect and continue until that time a more agreeable democratic, technical and community involved process for determining the designated GDF Search Area is proposed / guaranteed by the UK government and their representatives within the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA).” 

 

Minutes:

Councillor Iain Greaney moved the following motion –

 

As someone who believes that nuclear energy generation should and probably will need to have a place in a new greener energy policy for the country and also as someone who has an in-depth understanding of the need to build the UK’s long term nuclear Geological Disposal Facility. The submission of this motion to defer GDF appraisal process in the borough of Allerdale, is not taken easily.

 

I have had a meeting with the NDA representative Steve Reece and also the Independent Chair of the Allerdale GDF working group Jocelyn Manners- Armstrong, who I believe to be genuine participants in the process, however this did not alleviate my concerns.  As a result, I believe the current decision on the proposed designated GDF search area being proposed by the Allerdale working group is flawed / unsound and needs to be re-appraised as a result of failures in the decision-making process.

 

The justification for the motion is the significant technical omissions from the assessment which renders approximately 50% of the proposed designated search area completely out of scope, lack of community participation in the decision-making process and a political driven agenda by the conservative Allerdale executive committee.

 

The real crux of the issue is the newly defined Allerdale GDF designated search area includes 50% of the exclusion zone as determined in the British Geological Survey (BGS) report; Initial Geological unsuitability Screening of West Cumbria (2010), which concludes that this exclusion area is an area not suitable for consideration for the siting of a Nuclear Geological Disposal Facility.

 

Therefore, how can the public have confidence in this first phase, if the Allerdale GDF working group have selected an area that comprises 50% of which has already been classified as unsuitable by the BGS. This seems to be the most basic of errors and indicates the working group have not done their homework correctly.

 

It seems the Allerdale working group are getting the significant basic decisions wrong at such an early stage, without being held accountable. The concern is, they will inevitably continue in this vein as a direct result of these poor early decisions becoming embedded in the process which in turn will have an effect on all future decisions. Irrespective of the £1 million payments the council will receive for continuing to the next phase in the GDF assessment, as councillors we have a moral responsibility to ensure this process is checked if concerns are highlighted and this motion will provide an opportunity to do this.

 

We have to take an impartial but objective approach when it comes to the siting of a Nuclear Geological Disposal Facility and our aim should be; not to get ‘a site’  but to get the ‘safest site’

 

Therefore I would like to ask :-

 

Allerdale Borough Council agrees to request Executive that it withdraws all council members and officers from participating in the Allerdale Nuclear Geological Disposal Facility working group/ Community Partnership and any processes associated with the assessment /selection of a viable site for the UK’S Geological Disposal Facility in the Borough of Allerdale. This recall should be with immediate effect and continue until that time a more agreeable democratic, technical and community involved process for determining the designated GDF Search Area is proposed / guaranteed by the UK government and their representatives within the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). 

 

The motion was seconded by Councillor G Kemp.

 

Councillor M Fitzgerald stated that she took issue with many of the comments made and that while she appreciated Cllr Greaney’s knowledge the comments did not accurately reflect the stage the process was at. It was important for Allerdale to be part of the community partnership from an early stage and to be involved in detailed discussions. The process could take many years to complete but it was important to get that process underway. Elected members from the affected wards had been given the opportunity to attend briefings and the issue had been discussed at a meeting of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee prior to the decision being made.

 

Councillors M Johnson, C Sharpe, M Heaslip and A Smith all spoke to reiterate and support the comments made by Councillor Fitzgerald.

 

In exercising his right to reply Councillor Greaney asserted his belief that 50% of the search area was out of scope and stated that in his opinion it would be better to take more time to get the process right rather than pushing ahead with it.

 

A vote was taken: 6 in favour, 30 against, 0 abstentions.

The motion was lost.