Referendum on nuclear waste plans next week

VILLAGERS will be going to the polls to have their say on plans to bury radioactive waste in a tip.

Twelve villages in Northamptonshire and Rutland will be holding a referendum on Thursday in a campaign against waste company Augean’s plans to dump low level waste at its East Northants Resource Management Facility, in King’s Cliffe. Protest group Local Democracy in Action is running the campaign.

Three other villages are holding petitions.

The results of the referendums, which cost approximately £600 each and will be paid for by the parish councils, will be passed onto Local Government minister Eric Pickles before he makes a decision in May on Augean’s plans.

A planning inquiry was held in November last year as the company tried to overturn Northampton County Council’s decision to refuse permission to bury the low level waste.

Polls will be held at halls on Thursday, at Apethorpe, Barrowden, Bulwick, Collyweston, Duddington, Easton-on-the-Hill, Fotheringhay, Harringworth, King’s Cliffe, Laxton, Nassington, Wakerley. Polls will run from 4pm to 9pm. Yarwell will be holding its referendum on April 18.

Ketton Parish Council is also getting involved with the campaign and will be running a petition next week. It is hoped copies will be available in the village library and Ketton Post Office and Village Stores. Petitions are also being run in Tixover and Woodnewton.

Chris Leuchars, from King’s Cliffe, will be appearing on BBC 1’s Politics show on Sunday to discuss the plans.

Group member Maggie Scott is urging people to have their say on the plans.

She said: “If you don’t turn out to vote you are allowing radioactive waste in. Everyone needs to vote.”

Mrs Scott also said that the £600 cost per parish was an investment for the future.

Stamford Town Council has also backed the group by writing letters to MP Nick Boles (Con) and Mr Pickles.

East Northamptonshire MP Louise Bagshawe (Con) will be passing on the results of the poll to Mr Pickles.

Augean has applied to dispose of low level waste which will principally be construction waste, such as soil and rubble, from ancillary buildings at decommissioning nuclear power stations, and other sources such as hospitals.

A letter from the company states: “Augean are, of course, aware of the parish polls taking place in some parishes near our East Northants resource management facility.

“It would be inappropriate at this time to comment on these, as we await the decision of the Secretary of State for Community and Local Government on the application.

“This decision will follow a lengthy democratic process where all aspects of our proposals were rigorously scrutinised in public, particularly at the public inquiry of the appeal, and those for and against the application had an opportunity to make their views known.”