Seismic Complaint Against Copeland Councillor Heard by Standards and Ethics Committee Tomorrow




  1. Screenshot of Cllr D Moore's declarations of interest (Copeland BC website) 30/09/2021 - 11/10/2022


PRESS RELEASE

Cumbrian Nuclear Safety Group's Seismic Complaint Against "Nuclear Councillor" David Moore.

A complaint against the Deputy Mayor of Copeland and Borough Councillor David Moore will be heard by the Standards and Ethics Committee of Copeland Borough Council on 25th October 2022.

The complaint is being brought by nuclear safety group Radiation Free Lakeland who campaigned vigorously against the seismic testing (often called "blasting") carried out in August to test the geology deep under the Irish Sea bed for a high level nuclear waste facility known as a Geological Disposal Facility.

Founder of Radiation Free Lakeland Marianne Birkby said "Immediately following the seismic survey there have been visible damaging impacts including dead and displaced harbour porpoises (reported to Cetacean Strandings UK) and hundreds of dead jellyfish washed up on West Cumbrian beaches. The long term impacts will be felt by marine life for years to come and that was just the start of the nuclear dump developments. Councillor David Moore will, despite his financial and personal nuclear interests, be aiming to rubber stamp further GDF developments without a by-your-leave from the full council or from the public. It is a nuclear fiefdom in Copeland and this is clearly becoming increasingly undemocratic and dangerous for Cumbria and Cumbria's neighbours."

TWO COMPLAINTS

  1. 50,000 signatures on the petition opposing seismic blasting are an “odd few” says Councillor Moore on the BBC News (2nd August).

  2. Cllr David Moore’s failure to declare interests at the Executive meeting of 12th July at which the Petition of then nearly 50,000 signatures was presented.

Context: In January 2013 the then Conservative leader of Cumbria County Council, Eddie Martin, led councillors in refusing to take the next steps (stage 4) towards the Delivery of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). The next steps would have included intrusive investigations of the geology of Copeland which is already very well studied and known to be complex and faulted. In November 2021 Copeland Borough Council joined the new GDF process of Partnership with Nuclear Waste Services. That Partnership has opened the flood gates on invasive investigations the first being, seismic blasting. There has been no public vote nor even a vote by the full Copeland Borough Council on whether investigations should take place. Decisions on GDF- which since Cumbria County Council's NO vote has been designated a Nationally Significant Infrastructure Project - are delegated to the Copeland Executive without reference to discussion or vote by the full council (or the public). ENDS FULL COMPLAINT BELOW To be heard by Copeland Borough Council’s Standards and Ethics Committee on 25th October 2022 Radiation Free Lakeland complaint relating to Councillor/Deputy Mayor David Moore’s Conduct: Radiation Free Lakeland are a volunteer group of nuclear safety campaigners from across the political spectrum and from all walks of life. This complaint is not politically motivated. Context: In January 2013 the then Conservative leader of Cumbria County Council, Eddie Martin, led councillors in refusing to take the next steps (stage 4) towards the Delivery of a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF). The next steps would have included intrusive investigations of the geology of Copeland which is already very well studied and known to be complex and faulted. In November 2021 Copeland Borough Council joined the new GDF process of Partnership with Nuclear Waste Services. That Partnership has opened the flood gates on invasive investigations the first being, seismic blasting. There has been no public vote nor even a vote by the full Copeland Borough Council on whether investigations should take place. Decisions on GDF are delegated to the Copeland Executive without reference to discussion or vote by the full council (or the public). TWO COMPLAINTS

  1. 50,000 are an “odd few” says Councillor Moore on the BBC News (2nd August).

  2. Cllr David Moore’s failure to declare interests at the Executive meeting of 12th July at which the Petition of then nearly 50,000 signatures was presented.

Firstly, Cllr David Moore’s statement on BBC North West in dismissing over 50,000 voices on the petition presented to Copeland Borough Council before the 12th July meeting of the Executive as an “odd, few.” The 50,000 are backed by scientific fact that seismic testing is damaging to marine life. Several members of the public attended the 12th July meeting to represent petitioners, all of those present at the meeting were from Copeland and stated that fact in the meeting. Copeland Borough Council’s own Code of Conduct has the following requirements:

  • I act with integrity and honesty

  • I lead by example and act in a way that secures public confidence in the role of councillor.

The 50,000 signature petition and opposition to the seismic blasting (scientifically acknowledged both nationally and internationally to cause harm to sealife was very publicly dismissed by Councillor Moore on the BBC as "an odd few.” The “odd few” are now over 52,000 with many of those from Copeland. On BBC News 2nd August "Councillor David Moore, a member of the Mid Copeland GDF partnership and deputy mayor of Copeland Council, said: "We have had odd people and they are in the minority, that have expressed concerns and when we've explained the process they are comfortable with it."

COMPLAINT 2. Cllr David Moore’s failure to declare interests at the Executive meeting of 12th July at which the Petition of then nearly 50,000 signatures was presented.

Copeland Borough Council’s Code of Conduct requires that Councillors:

  • I avoid conflicts of interest

  • I impartially exercise my responsibilities in the interests of the local community

Councillor David Moore's register of interests has been amended since our complaint was sent in with a post it note "INFORMATION WITHHELD" over Mrs Moore's employment at the Civil Nuclear Constabulary. Cllr Moore's nuclear interests are many and varied. He has key roles on the Strategic Nuclear & Energy Board, NuLeAF, Mid Copeland GDF Community Partnership, South Copeland GDF Community Partnership, West Cumbria Sites Stakeholder Group - most of these involve pecuniary interests amounting to thousands of pounds. These appointments are a conflict of interest compounded by Cllr Moore's often stated support for the nuclear industry which amounts to predetermination (see examples below.) Given that Councillor Moore’s responsibilites are set to increase with the forming of the Cumberland Council these breaches of the Code of Conduct are a dangerous precedent. The electoral divisions Cllr Moore represents currently are Gosforth and Seascale. Under the new Cumberland Council due to take effect in April 2023, Cllr Moore’s electoral divisions would, we believe, also include: Beckermet?, †Calderbridge?, Haile & Wilton?, Ponsonby?, Sellafield?, Thornhill?, Wasdale?, Wellington ? Predetermination of Cllr David Moore: “This is a great opportunity for the local community to see some significant investment into the area. At its start, a community could receive up to £1million per year and this could be over a considerable period of time. “The opportunities for this community will include setting up a local grants panel and, with the assistance of Radioactive Waste Management (RWM), will spend those funds in the community.“As investigations progress, should RWM be required to undertake invasive work, such as digging boreholes, that community funding goes up to £2.5million a year. “This process cannot then go further without first testing public support, such as through a referendum. I would say it’s a significant opportunity.” https://www.newsandstar.co.uk/news/19319766.copeland-nuclear-gdf-bring-billions-investment/ Mayors, Councillors and Operators Discuss Hosting Radioactive Waste Sites IAEA 2018 "Hosting a nuclear site brings both tangible and intangible benefits, said David Moore, Deputy Mayor of Copeland, the home of Sellafield, the United Kingdom’s fuel reprocessing and nuclear decommissioning facility. “We in West Cumbria have hosted nuclear waste facilities for over fifty years, and it has allowed our community to become one of the most knowledgeable on waste matters,” he said. “We have seen the advantages of well-paid jobs and investment in skills and training.” https://www.iaea.org/newscenter/news/mayors-councilors-and-operators-discuss-hosting-radioactive-waste-sites References: Petition https://www.change.org/p/save-the-whale-and-the-snail-stop-nuclear-waste-services-blasting-the-irish-sea Report sent to Copeland Borough Council regarding seismic blasting impacts https://www.nuclearpolicy.info/news/lacking-in-scientific-rigour-damning-verdict-of-marine-expert-on-nuclear-waste-services-seismic-testing-plan/ Councillor Moore's dismissal of concern as "an odd few" https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-62397013. CODE OF CONDUCT and the Localism Act 2011 https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2011/20/contents Localism Act 2011 Chapter 7 Standards 31 Pecuniary interests in matters considered at meetings or by a single member (1)Subsections (2) to (4) apply if a member or co-opted member of a relevant authority— (a)is present at a meeting of the authority or of any committee, sub-committee, joint committee or joint sub-committee of the authority, (b)has a disclosable pecuniary interest in any matter to be considered, or being considered, at the meeting, and (c)is aware that the condition in paragraph (b) is met. (2)If the interest is not entered in the authority's register, the member or co-opted member must disclose the interest to the meeting, but this is subject to section 32(3). (3)If the interest is not entered in the authority's register and is not the subject of a pending notification, the member or co-opted member must notify the authority's monitoring officer of the interest before the end of 28 days beginning with the date of the disclosure. (4)The member or co-opted member may not— (a)participate, or participate further, in any discussion of the matter at the meeting, or (b)participate in any vote, or further vote, taken on the matter at the meeting, but this is subject to section 33. 34 Offences (1)A person commits an offence if, without reasonable excuse, the person— (a)fails to comply with an obligation imposed on the person by section 30(1) or 31(2), (3) or (7), (b)participates in any discussion or vote in contravention of section 31(4), or (c)takes any steps in contravention of section 31 (2)A person commits an offence if under section 30(1) or 31(2), (3) or (7) the person provides information that is false or misleading and the person— (a)knows that the information is false or misleading, or (b)is reckless as to whether the information is true and not misleading. Chapter 6 Predetermination 25 Prior indications of view of a matter not to amount to predetermination etc (1)Subsection (2) applies if— (a)as a result of an allegation of bias or predetermination, or otherwise, there is an issue about the validity of a decision of a relevant authority, and (b)it is relevant to that issue whether the decision-maker, or any of the decision-makers, had or appeared to have had a closed mind (to any extent) when making the decision. (2)A decision-maker is not to be taken to have had, or to have appeared to have had, a closed mind when making the decision just because— (a)the decision-maker had previously done anything that directly or indirectly indicated what view the decision-maker took, or would or might take, in relation to a matter, and (b)the matter was relevant to the decision. Supporting Documents

  1. Declaration File for Councillor David Moore detailing Spouse's occupation with CNC, NuLeaf, Copeland Community Fund, West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group, Vienna with Nuleaf Conference.

  2. Recently Amended Declaration File for Cllr D Moore with Spouse's occupation withheld

  3. Screenshot of Cllr D Moore's declarations of interest (Copeland BC website) 30/09/2021 - 11/10/2022

  4. Openness and Transparency on Personal Interests https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/openness-and-transparency-on-personal-interests-guidance-for-councillors

  5. Gosforth Electoral Division. https://www.cumbria.gov.uk/eLibrary/Content/Internet/535/4245913269.pdf


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