Letters: Radioactive waste decision - ‘So much for local democracy’

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The Government’s decision to deposit radioactive waste in King’s Cliffe has achieved national publicity and most outsiders imagined that the landfill site under discussion was an isolated deep quarry suitable for this sort of thing and were surprised to learn that it is little more than a shallow “scrape” within 100 yards of houses.

It was natural that local people should object and, in fact, it was rejected at parish, district and county level and by 12 local villages through a series of referendums.

Some local people felt that objecting was a waste of time, as the government had agreed to the siting of the landfill site in the first place, but it was pointed out to them that we now have a new government which has made a major feature of their intention to “listen to the voice of the people” and that “localism” in planning was the new policy.

Many of us believed this mantra and persuaded others to make their voices heard.

How disappointed we are now that we have been so completely let down.

Put not your trust in government promises!

Brian Cromie

Park Street, King’s Cliffe

The decision of Yorkshire man Mr Pickles to allow Augean to go ahead with its plans to store radioactive waste is totally at odds with his own words on localism – a true politician who says one thing and does another.

He has said that in this case the national interest takes precedence over localism.

What he means is that commercial interest – interestingly that of a Yorkshire-based company – takes precedence over local interest.

At the recent “consultation” days, I asked Augean representatives if they lived locally. Not one I spoke to did.

The Secretary of State’s decision has implications for the country as a whole but particularly for this area.

Stamford is already surrounded by quarries.

Are we really happy to have this beautiful part of the country turned into a radioactive dump when the waste could be safely stored where it is generated?

Maggie Scott

Mill Street, Duddington

Following the announcement of Eric Pickles’ decision to allow nuclear waste to be dumped in the landfill site at King’s Cliffe, is it not time for certain politicians who have relentlessly banged the drum for local democracy and the devolving of decisions to local people, to admit that there is in fact little provision for this in the coalition Government’s new Localism Bill?

On Local Referendums, A plain English guide to the Localism Bill states “The Localism Bill will give local people the right to suggest votes on any local issue that they think is important. Local authorities and other public bodies will be required to take the outcome into account as they make their decisions”.

So local referendums such as this do little more than the formal consultation process which would take place anyway between local authorities and local residents.

In other words, no more “local democracy” for the people of King’s Cliffe under these “radical decentralising” proposals than previously.

Adam Wissen

Scotgate, Stamford

I do wonder whether Mr Pickles is actually a member of the same political party which I voted for?

Did not Mr Cameron promise that his party would listen to the people? What has gone wrong with that promised policy, when so many local opinions were voiced? Why were we ignored?

Maureen Marshall

West Street, King’s Ciffe

I am surprised the editor used such an inflammatory headline – Radioactive bombshell – for the Mercury’s front page article last week. The radiation symbols in place of the Os is a nice touch but surely a bit over the top.

It is what we have come to expect from the national tabloid press but not from the Stamford Mercury. A banner headline of this sort can do no good but mislead the ill-informed, whip up trouble and generate a Greenham Common situation.

I am glad the Secretary of State has finally resolved the matter. Common sense has prevailed and Augean can now go forward.

Peter Spiegl

Orchard Way,