Plea to support referendum bid

CAMPAIGNERS hoping to call a referendum on plans to bury radioactive waste at a tip are urging residents to support a public meeting next week.

New campaign group Local Democracy in Action is fighting against waste company Augen’s plans to extend and bury low level radioactive waste at its site in Stamford Road, King’s Cliffe.

Campaigners want to hold a referendum in the villages surrounding the site to send a message to Local Government Minister Eric Pickles.

The group cannot hold a referendum until a parish meeting is held. The group has the necessary six signatures from residents to hold this meeting but no date has been set. It is hoped it will be held between March 1 and 17.

If enough residents at the meeting show they want a poll, East Northamptonshire District Council’s returning officer David Oliver will be asked to organise a poll. Campaigners hope this will be held on April 17.

Each parish council will be obliged to foot the bill of £400 to £600 for each poll.

Campaigners will be giving supporters an update of their progress during their next meeting on Friday next week at the Queen’s Head, Nassington, at 7.30pm.

A meeting for councillors and residents was held in Nassington on Monday.

Group chairman Robin Gifford said at the meeting: “As a resident of Apethorpe, I know there is a large number of ordinary villagers who are extremely angry about these proposals and they need a voice for their concerns – this is what the Local Democracy in Action is all about.

“Some people see the King’s Cliffe plans as a done deed but it isn’t and we can achieve a lot by successfully expressing public opinion. We have already seen this happen with opposition to the Government’s forest sell-off attempt and it can happen again here.”

A planning appeal was held in November last year as Augen tried to overturn Northamptonshire County Council’s decision to reject planning permission for it to dispose of 249,999 tonnes of low level radio active waste at the site. A decision on this is due in May.

The company is also due to be submitting two planning applications later this year to extend its site and to be given more time to use the dump. The permission runs out in 2013.