Thursday, March 14, 2002

Copeland Council has sent off its views on a possible nuclear waste dump. On Tuesday afternoon the council faxed its opinions on the issue to the London headquarters of DEFRA. The consultation report was sent just in time to meet a deadline of that day.

The report on the build-up to a possible nuclear waste repository by 2005 includes clear signs that Copeland wants a monetary payment for hosting the nuclear waste.

The policy report from the council states: "The cost borne by the community in general, and the council in particular, in taking a responsible line in discussion and policy formulation and assessment regarding management of the nation's waste is considerable, and ought to be recognised. Currently there is no mechanism for this.

"The council, on behalf of the community, will need to be heavily involved in national policy development over the next three years, if those policy solutions are to be successful in winning the support of the general public. This onerous, though invaluable, work has a cost and a way of meeting it through local government finances or otherwise must be found.''

The report also refers to the need for "infrastructure and investment" in return for the "blighting" effect of hosting a nuclear waste store.

Coun George Clemments commented on the nuclear waste issue: "My personal view is as long as it is done safely and properly we should go along with it.'' Coun John Henney said: "Wherever the preferred site is identified, the local people need to have the final veto.''

nCopeland Council is also fighting off Whitehall pressures for a fast track approach to big planning issues such as the possible nuclear waste dump.

The Copeland Executive voted to tell Whitehall it objected to a Green Paper proposal to allow developers to speed up such big applications as airports and nuclear plants.