There has been a widespread response to the news of the “early stage discussions” between Lincolnshire County Council and the ‘Radioactive Waste Management’ government agency, which was revealed on Friday.
• Statement from Victoria Atkins, MP for Louth & Horncastle
Speaking on Friday, Victoria Atkins MP said: “Today, the BBC revealed Lincolnshire County Council and Radioactive Waste Management’s plan to construct the UK’s first ever underground nuclear waste dump on our beautiful Lincolnshire coastline, here in the Louth & Horncastle constituency. Before the news broke today, neither the County Council or Radioactive Waste Management informed me directly about these plans.
“My initial reaction has been one of stunned surprise and deep concern.
“I am trying to contact Lincolnshire County Council and Radioactive Waste Management to discover what their plans are, how long they have been crafting them and what they plan to do next.”
• Statement from East Lindsey District Council
On Monday, a statement from ELDC said: “We are aware of the possibility that the old ConocoPhillips site at Theddlethorpe is being considered by the Radioactive Waste Management authority as a site for the storage of nuclear waste.
“Instinctively we would be against such a proposal. However we would need to fully understand the community view of this given that there will be a comprehensive consultation process to understand the issues that surround such a proposal.
“There may be benefits that we have not considered and these should be properly debated. And we will, of course, support the local community.
“Lincolnshire County Council are liaising with the RWM. Neither ELDC nor LCC are decision makers in this matter. Ultimately it is the local community that should have the final say.”
• Statement from Labour Group councillors at East Lindsey District Council
A statement from the Labour Group accused the county council of keeping the discussions behind closed doors, and failing to inform the general public or opposition councillors about the talks.
The statement said: “For the last few years the decommissioning of the site at Theddlethorpe has been well known, and several alternative uses [have been] suggested by local people - none of which included the nuclear industry.
“Labour councillors are therefore appalled that a select few Tory councillors have dismissed all of those and pursued their own agenda behind closed doors.”
Long-serving Mablethorpe councillor Tony Howard said: “This area cries out for secondary education, proper dental services and many other features that make for a decent life.
“But never have we ever asked to become part of the nuclear industry. So why go behind everyone’s backs and have these secret talks?”
Councillor Graham Cullen said: “The winding down of the gas terminal started during my four-year term as a county councillor, so I am bitterly disappointed that this idea was deliberately kept from me at the time!”
Councillor Claire Newman added: “People will be outraged that the Tory leadership treat them this way. We can only hope that now they will have the decency to tell the public the full story.”
• Response from Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council
Councillor Martin Hill, leader of Lincolnshire County Council, said: “RWM, who is putting forward the proposal, has said they will start a conversation with the local community so they can understand what is involved and make an informed choice. As I said last week, we currently have no opinion on the proposals.
“We received a presentation from RWM about this proposal last week and it was taken to the Conservative group on Friday.
“This was the first time we have had any direct contact with them or detailed knowledge of the proposal. Although, I understand there have been some informal exploratory discussions by officers.”