First of all and this is very important, Don’t Panic. Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) have requested further information from the The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). In Jan 2018 BEIS released a Consultation: Working With Communities. This document makes it very clear that the Consultation is about a Geological Disposal Facility – an underground Nuclear dump to use plain English.
In short what BEIS wish to do is develop an engagement process with all local authorities at all levels; to facilitate the location of a suitable site for a new geological disposal facility for radioactive waste. We make it clear this is at an exploratory stage only. Nothing is set in stone.
The Cabinet Member responsible is Cllr David Godfrey (pictured below). It was he who has responded to the Consultation requesting further information. All the information can be found at the end of this post.
Now on Monday evening at Dymchurch Parish Council, Cllr Ian Meyers raised the subject and Cllr Roger Wilkins all to briefly mentioned it and then moved on very swiftly.
The only areas to explore the idea last time round were Copeland and Allerdale borough councils in Cumbria, and Shepway District Council in Kent – now Folkestone & Hythe District Council.
Now of course the wonderful people of Romney Marsh rejected such a facility last time round when 63% of people rejected it in a survey. In Sept 2012 Councillors voted 21 to 13 against having a nuclear dump on the wonderful and beautiful Romney Marsh.
On that occasion Councillor Susan Carey said back in Sept 2012:
“We asked them a simple question – do you want us to go to the next stage or not – and the overwhelming majority of those who did respond said no and I think we have to listen to that.”
Yet Cllr Tony Hills (pictured below) who voted in favour last time, now the Romney Marsh KCC Cllr, said back in Sept 2012 –
“I think a lot of people didn’t understand the question,” he said. “The question was do you want to find out more information? Like a lot of councillors I would like to find out more information and see what we are being offered. That is common sense, we need investment, we need jobs. They are not going to come out of fresh air so lets look at all that’s on the table.”
We hope this time like last time FHDC will listen to the people and if it is found that the majority of local people don’t support it, they will withdraw any proposal.
However, that said, this time round Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) have written to BEIS to request further information and that can be seen here. The decision is subject to call in by the Secretary of State.
Now of course, BEIS are once again dangling a large financial carrot in front of Council’s who are strapped for cash. And as FHDC have a projected deficit of £6.5 million by 2021/2022 might the community investment funding of up to £1 million per community, per year prove tempting? This will rise to up to £2.5 million per community, per year, for communities that progress to deep investigative boreholes that assess the potential suitability of sites. This funding will be provided through the delivery body.
However that said there is a right of withdrawal at page 43 Para 4.73 it states:
Both the community and the delivery body may withdraw at any point up until the test of public support, during the engagement process. The delivery body may withdraw if they believe the siting process is unlikely to be successful.
Now as we said we don’t want you to panic. What we would like you to do is write to your Parish, Town, District and County Cllrs and let them know what you think of the idea – politely of course.
Now do realise people, Development is not an isolated issue. It affects the whole of our wonderful district from the Folkestone Seafront Development, Princes Parade Otterpool Park and now the potential engagement of FHDC to explore further information about the possibility of a Nuclear Dump in our beautiful district. It should make you realise that no matter where you live in the district, no-one is safe from some crass idea or intention put forward by Folkestone & Hythe District Council.
Let’s nip this absurd idea in the bud as early as we can regardless of the money.
If you care to write to Cllr Godfrey send him a polite email to:
The ShepwayVox Team