The recent announcement from the government confirms our very worst fears - the nuclear dump in Cumbria is back on the agenda. MRWS2 is about to be unveiled.
SPAND has been keeping an eye on the situation and it comes as no surprise that government claim to have learned the lessons from its last attempt. Yes, it certainly has. Just move the goalposts to suit your own game plan.
THE END OF DEMOCRACY IN CUMBRIA
The government announcement on MRWS 2 signals the end of democracy in Cumbria. The key change to the process is that the Government has shifted the responsibility for the decision from Cumbria County Council to the district councils. By making this change the government has,at a stroke, taken out two layers of local government from the democratic process. It just happens to be the two layers that objected to the dump. Allerdale and Copeland now have carte blanche to resurrect the dump.
We take issue with Allerdale Council. There are 56 or so councillors on Allerdale Council but Allerdale's version of democracy only gives a vote on the dump to the 7 councillors who make up the council executive. Five of these councillors voted to support the dump, two voted against.
This means that 5 out of 56 councillors have a stranglehold on the council. If you are unfortunate enough to be represented by one of the other 51 then you have no way to influence the decision. In short we are disenfranchised. We will have more to say on this as the battle progresses,
So Where does Silloth and the Solway plain stand in this new battle? The answer is "in a very strong position indeed." Last time, our community was united and sent clear messages that we won't tolerate nuclear waste being dumped on, under or anywhere near the Solway Plain. OUR MESSAGE REMAINS THE SAME.
None of the the five seem to have the faintest idea of the damage and distress they caused to their communities in ignoring public opinion and anger and pursuing their own nuclear agenda. Ironically we came out of that battle a much stronger community than we were when we went into it. We celebrated together and worked together to promote tourism in Silloth and we have had a wonderful summer. We have gone from strength to strength as a community.
This consultation process claims that unless the councils can demonstrate active support for a dump the process will not move forward. Take note Allerdale executive - we intend to demonstrate overwhelming public opposition to a dump in Allerdale or anywhere else in Cumbria.