April date for nuclear dump vote

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VILLAGERS in 13 communities who are fighting plans to dump radioactive waste have told Local Government minister Eric Pickles they will hold referendums.

Campaign group Local Democracy in Action was set up by people living near the tip in Stamford Road, King’s Cliffe, where owners Augean plan to bury low-level waste

Parish councils in Easton-on-the-Hill, Collyweston, King’s Cliffe, Apethorpe, Duddington, Bulwick, Laxton, Fotheringhay, Yarwell, Nassington, Barrowden, Harringworth and Wakerley have held emergency meetings to vote in favour of holding a referendum in each of the villages on April 7.

Villagers will be asked to vote yes or no to the question: “Do you want the parish council to take the strongest actions to object to the disposal of low-level radioactive waste at the East Northamptonshire Resource Management Facility or any other site in the surrounding area?”

Local Democracy in Action is hoping that everyone in the villages will turn out and vote “yes” on the day. Chairman Robin Gifford said: “It is fantastic to see the way in which a large number of villages across the area are coming together and uniting in their determination to keep out low-level radioactive waste.

“The demands for referendums in these communities show just how important this issue is to local people - and that they are determined to make their voices heard loud and clear by the Secretary of State.”

Residents in Tixover and Wood Newton, which are villages too small to hold a referendum, will submit petitions to the Secretary of State.

Members of Local Democracy in Action have taken advice from officers at Northamptonshire County Council, which rejected the plans in November. Augean has put in an appeal to the Secretary of State and the results are due to be released in May.

East Northamptonshire MP Louise Bagshawe says she will deliver the results to Westminster herself.

She said: “I completely support this local referendum. It is the authentic voice of local people.”