sorry the news is grim - this is the latest Press Release just sent to media - will they publish ? Or like Copeland Borough Council airbrush away this ongoing criminality which would end with a heat generating nuclear dump under the Irish Sea. Have included here a photo of live Harbour Porpoise rather than the photos of dead porpoise and seals on Drigg beach sent to Cetacean Strandings UK.
PRESS RELEASE. 17th November 2022
Ethics Committee of Copeland Borough Council Stand By Councillor Moore Over Seismic Complaint.
On 25th October Copeland Borough Council’s Standards and Ethics Committee heard a complaint by Radiation Free Lakeland (a volunteer nuclear safety group) against Councillor David Moore regarding the seismic blasting. The seismic blasting using airguns towed from a vessel took place over 20 days for 24 hours a day, seven days a week in the Irish Sea centred off Seascale this August. It was carried out in order to test the geology for a deep geological nuclear facility (G.D.F aka “nuclear dump”) for high level nuclear wastes.
The complaint against Councillor David Moore who represents Copeland Borough Council on the Mid and South Copeland GDF Community Partnerships was in two parts:
(1) Firstly, ‘Cllr David Moore’s statement on BBC North West in dismissing over 50,000 voices as an “odd, few.” On the BBC North West broadcast on the 1st August 2022 Councillor Moore representing Copeland Council for the GDF Partnerships of Mid and South Copeland referred to over 50,000 people opposing the seismic blasting as “We have had the few odd people and they are in the minority of people that have expressed some concern. We've had the odd few people come in that were concerned and once we'd explained the process that's taking place, they're comfortable with it”.
(2) Secondly, Cllr David Moore’s failure to declare interests at the Executive meeting of the 12th July (at which the petition against seismic blasting was discussed)
The hearing was held in private without public or press, due to the sensitive nature of part of the complaint ( this being the employment of Councillor Moore’s spouse by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority)
“GDF PARTNERSHIP HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH SEISMIC BLASTING”
1. The Standards and Ethics Committee of Copeland Borough Council considered Article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights now transposed into the Human Rights Act and suggested that Councillor David Moore’s human right of free expression to publicly call those 50,000 people opposing the seismic blasting an “odd few people” was to be considered in the light of the Lombardo v Malta (2009) 48 EHHR 23 case in which political expression deserves enhanced protection if “said in good faith with some ‘reasonable (even if incorrect) factual basis for saying it.”
The Ethics Committee decided that there was no breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct as on the evidence of Councillor Moore he was not talking to the BBC about the petition but about a “community event discussing seismic blasting where a few people had expressed concerns.” The BBC were talking about the response to the seismic blasting. Councillor Moore emphasised to the Ethics Committee that the GDF Partnership which he represents on behalf of Copeland Borough Council “had nothing to do with seismic testing nor had any influence on the matter” and “the contract (for seismic blasting) was let before the Mid Copeland Partnership was established.” Cllr Moore was the spokesperson on seismic blasting on the BBC for the GDF Partnership between Nuclear Waste Services and the Borough Council.
NO NEED TO DECLARE PECUNIARY INTERESTS DESPITE KEY ROLES FUNDED BY NUCLEAR DECOMMISSIONING AUTHORITY/NUCLEAR WASTE SERVICES
2. Despite Councillor Moore’s pecuniary interests in his various roles funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority who also wholly fund Nuclear Waste Services the Committee concluded that “Overall there was no direct relationship between Nuclear Waste Services, the seismic testing and the outside bodies which the Member was a member of.” This runs counter to the fact that it was Nuclear Waste Services who commissioned the seismic blasting.
*Employment of Spouse by NDA
*Chair of NuLeaf, the Nuclear Legacy Advisory Forum, at its last Annual General Meeting on 9 March 2022. Cllr Moore recieves £5000 per annum. NuLeaf is funded largely by the NDA/NWS with a small contribution from member authorities
*Chair of West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group since 2005 recieving £6,300 per annum, funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority who also wholly fund Nuclear Waste Services. The Chair’s renumeration is detailed on the WCSSG website under Cost Reimbursement BUT the Ethics and Standards Committe have falsely stated in their decision to Radiation Free Lakeland exonerating Councillor Moore that there is no pecuniary interest from the WCSSG/NDA to Cllr Moore. Councillor Moore also states that the WCSSG is concerned solely with low level radioactive waste - this again is false “The WCSSG is an independent body whose role is to provide public scrutiny of the nuclear industry in West Cumbria.”
*Representing Copeland Borough Council on the Mid and South Copeland GDF Community Partnerships. funded by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority/Nuclear Waste Services.
Radiation Free Lakeland say they are appalled at the decision by Copeland’s Ethics and Standards Committee to completely whitewash nuclear power and influence over Copeland Borough Council.
Airbrushing away the undeclared pecuniary interests from Councillor Moore’s Chairing roles on outside bodies paid for by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority/Nuclear Waste Services is blatantly undermining faith in the democratic process. Alongside these vested interests Councillor Moore also holds the Nuclear Portfolio for Copeland and is effectively taking decisions for the full council on the Executive.
The nuclear safety group go on to say that it is clear Copeland Borough Council (without the consent of the actual full council who have had no vote on this) are more than happy to be used as a fig leaf to cover the embarrassment of what will be over the coming years a growing assault on the Irish Sea from GDF preparations.
Seismic blasting was merely the first salvo.
In the last few days of the seismic blasting in August 2022 dead harbour porpoise and seals were seen and photographed on the beach at Drigg and reported by locals to Cetacean Strandings UK. Displaced harbour porpoises were seen in Whitehaven harbour, unusually near paddle boarders and hundreds of dead jellyfish were washed up at Silloth.
Copeland Borough Council have told Radiation Free Lakeland that: “There is no right of appeal against the decision of the Standards and Ethics Committee”.
sent to press 17th November 2022
Decision Notice - Radiation Free Lakeland v Councillor David Moore
Photos of harbour porpoise and dead seals washed up at Drigg 18th August
Correspondence with Cetacean siting re dead strandings
Geophysics specialist Shearwater Geo Services, working for Nuclear Waste Services, completed the first marine geophysical survey off the coast of Copeland, Cumbria, last week (18 August). https://www.geplus.co.uk/news/survey-into-potential-nuclear-waste-storage-facility-completed-off-cumbria-coast-26-08-2022/
“The West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group is an independent body whose role is to provide public scrutiny of the nuclear industry in West Cumbria.” https://wcssg.co.uk/working-group/west-cumbria-sites-stakeholder-group/
Chair of NuLeaf https://www.nuleaf.org.uk/about/who-we-are/
Mid-Copeland GDF Community Partnership https://midcopeland.workinginpartnership.org.uk/resources/community-partnership-members/
South Copeland GDF Community Partnership https://southcopeland.workinginpartnership.org.uk/resources/community-partnership-members/