Whitewash of Seismic Complaint Including "Criminal Offence"

Press Release

Harbour Porpoise - photos of dead harbour porpoise and seals at Drigg beach sent to Cetacean Strandings UK on 18th August

Nuclear safety group Radiation Free Lakeland have written to Copeland Borough Council in protest at the "whitewashing" of their seismic blasting complaint against Councillor David Moore. The complaint was in two parts:

(1) Firstly, ‘Cllr David Moore’s statement made on BBC North West on 2nd August in dismissing over 50,000 signatures opposing the seismic testing of the Irish Sea in August, to test the geology for a Geological Disposal Facility for heat generating nuclear wastes, as an “odd, few.”

(2) Secondly, Cllr David Moore’s failure to declare financial interests at the Executive meeting of the 12th July at which a petition of nearly 50,000 signatures was presented opposing the seismic testing carried out by Shearwater GeoServices on behalf of Nuclear Waste Services and the GDF Partnership of Mid and South Copeland.

The group say that it is clear Cllr David Moore was disrespectful and dismissive of objectors to the seismic blasting, a practice which is acknowledged to have harmful impacts on marine life. On the 18th August a dead harbour porpoise and seals were photographed on Drigg beach this was at the same time as witnesses saw the displacement of harbour porpoises seen in Whitehaven harbour unusually near paddle boarders and hundreds of dead jelly fish stranded at Silloth. The group say that they are astounded that the Ethics and Standards Committee of Copeland Borough Council have not reprimanded Councillor Moore for his failure to disclose financial nuclear interests of over £11,000 a year not only at the 12th July meeting at which the petition against the seismic testing was discussed but also at the systemic failure to disclose financial nuclear interests at meetings where Cllr Moore is Lead Member on key nuclear decisions such as the decision to enter into the GDF Community Partnership. It is this decision say Radiation Free Lakeland which has "opened the floodgates to investigation techniques of which the hugely damaging seismic blasting was just the first round."

Failure to declare pecuniary interests is a criminal offence and the letter from Radiation Free Lakeland urges Copeland Borough Council's Monitoring Officer to refer Cllr Moore's failure to declare financial interests to Cumbria Police.

The full letter is below

ENDS


Petition https://www.change.org/p/save-the-whale-and-the-snail-stop-nuclear-waste-services-blasting-the-irish-sea

Dear Ethics and Standards Committee of Copeland Borough Council

Thank you for the decision notice regarding the complaint concerning Councillor David Moore. We do not accept the validity of the decision for the reasons laid out below and urge Copeland Borough Council’s Monitoring Officer to refer Councillor David Moore’s systemic failure to declare pecuniary interests to Cumbria Police.


COMPLAINT:

(1) Firstly, ‘Cllr David Moore’s statement on BBC North West in dismissing over 50,000 voices as “odd, few.”

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

We accept that there is “no right of appeal” but would like it to be entered on record that Radiation Free Lakeland do not accept the validity of this decision for the following reasons:


  1. The Ethics and Standards Committee of Copeland Borough Council’s final decision was that there was no breach of the Council’s Code of Conduct as on the evidence of Councillor Moore he was not talking about the petition but about a “community event discussing seismic blasting where a few people had expressed concerns.”


Councillor Moore emphasised to the committee that the GDF Partnerships ( Mid and South Copeland GDF Partnerships) 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. Nuclear Waste Services’ predecessor Radioactive Waste Management (both divisions of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority) commissioned the seismic blasting. Councillor Moore was the Lead Member of Copeland Borough Council’s Executive decision to join the GDF Community Partnership with RWM/NWS i.e. NDA.

The deliberate repeating of the word “odd” by Cllr Moore in the BBC broadcast was disrespectful even if as Cllr Moore alleges he was referring to a few people attending the “drop ins” rather than the 50,000 signature petition. In any event we contest Cllr Moore’s assertion that only a few people during the “drop ins” opposed the seismic testing. At just one event in Haverigg there were around 20 people in attendance the short time I was there who ALL opposed the seismic testing - they may have been polite about it but that does not mean they are “comfortable with" the GDF Community Partnership’s justification for seismic blasting

(2) The Ethics and Standards Committee’s final decision was that there was no breach of failing to declare interests. This runs counter to guidance issued to local government councillors by the then Department of Communities and Local Government in September 2013 which describes in Annex A, a pecuniary interest as including ‘Any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain, which you, or your spouse or civil partner, undertakes.’ Any OFFICE and for GAIN being the most relevant words in this section.

Councillor David Moore has been in the OFFICE of Chair of the West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group since 2005 and as a result has made a GAIN (i.e. received a financial renumeration) of £6,300 per annum.

Since 2022, Councillor David Moore has been in the OFFICE of Chair of Nuleaf (the Nuclear Legacy Advisor Forum) and as a result has made a GAIN of £5,000 per annum.

Both of these remunerations are made by Nuclear Waste Services, an agency of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority, the government sponsored (to the tune of almost £3 billion per annum) body responsible for clean-up operations at Sellafield, for the operation of the Low Level Waste Repository at Drigg and for securing a site for a Geological Disposal Facility (colloquially called the "nuclear dump").

How is it then that Cllr Moore can fail to declare in Section 1 of the Copeland Borough Council Register of Interests: ‘Details of any employment, office, trade, profession or vocation carried on for profit or gain’ that he has held these two OFFICES for GAIN?

And how is it that he is able to hold the office of Portfolio Holder for Nuclear Services or speaking or voting on any matter relating to the nuclear industry at Copeland Borough Council given he is in receipt of at least £11,300 per annum from the nuclear industry?

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 is simply not credible. Nuclear Waste Services is according to Gov.UK NOT a legal entity - it is merely a division of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority who also employ Councillor David Moore on at least three groups wholly or partly funded by the NDA.

BLATANT LIE - West Cumbria Site Stakeholder Group

Cllr Moore stated to the Ethics and Standards Committee that in respect of West Cumbria Sites Stakeholder Group: “no allowance was received and that this was looking at low level waste.” This is a blatantly false statement as Councillor Moore has been Chair of the WCSSG since 2005. At the current rate of renumeration Cllr Moore will have received £107,100 over 17 years. It is inconceivable that over 17 years as WCSSG Chair, Cllr Moore believes the stakeholder group is “looking at low level waste” to the exclusion of looking at the performance of Sellafield and its growing stockpile of high level nuclear wastes (https://wcssg.co.uk/meetings-event/spent-fuel-management-and-nuclear-materials-working-group-32/). The WCSSG was originally the Sellafield Local Liaison Committee. ( https://wcssg.co.uk/about-us/ ).

NO PECUNIARY INTERESTS DECLARED ….EVER (?)

We would also draw the Ethics and Standards Committee’s attention to the evidence we gave as part of our complaint which is the non-declaration of interests not only at the 12th July Executive Committee hearing at which the seismic blasting petition was delivered but also to the systemic failure of Cllr Moore to declare ANY pecuniary interests…EVER (as far as we can tell). This includes the Executive meeting at which the GDF Community Partnership was agreed on behalf of the full council, this is the point at which the floodgates were opened for GDF “investigation techniques." Investigation Techniques are being advised by the CEO of West Cumbria Mining Mark Kirkbride in his role at the Committee on Radioactive Waste Management who in turn advise the NDA/NWS. Not only were pecuniary interests not declared but Cllr Moore as the Council’s Nuclear Portfolio holder is Lead Member on Executive decisions regarding the nuclear industry. The same industry from which he and his spouse are in direct receipt of monies. Note NWS is NOT a legal entity it is a division of the NDA who fund Cllr Moore’s various nuclear appointments either fully or for the most part.

To reiterate, Radiation Free Lakeland do not accept the validity of the Ethics and Standards Committee decision regarding our complaint against Councillor Moore and in addition urge Copeland Borough Council's Monitoring Officer to refer Cllr Moore's non declaration of pecuniary interests to Cumbria Police.

Yours sincerely

Marianne Birkby

Neil Wilson

on behalf of Radiation Free Lakeland

image - Copeland Borough Council webpage screenshot - no declaration of interest for Cllr Moore from 30.9.21 to 11.10.22. - as far as we can see there have NEVER been any declarations of pecuniary interest from Cllr David Moore on any nuclear applications from the NDA or its divisions wholly funded by the NDA - LLWR/RWM/NWS

References.

Attached - Radiation Free Lakeland v Cllr David Moore decision notice from Copeland Borough Council

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.”

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cumbria-62397013

According to Gov.UK NWS is NOT a legal entity - it is merely a division of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/nuclear-waste-services/about/our-governance

Community Partnership Agreement - LEAD MEMBER: Cllr David Moore, Portfolio Holder for Nuclear

Executive Decision - 27 July 2021 The UK Government’s approach to identifying a site for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) for higher-activity radioactive waste - Developing a Community Partnership Agreement

"a. The establishment of a mechanism for the distribution of the Community Investment Fund that is acceptable to the Council b. The inclusion of a Community Engagement programme that enables local residents and stakeholders from across the Borough to engage in the work of the Community Partnership c. The costs of Council involvement in the process are recoverable. d. The Community Partnership and RWM when considering procuring goods and services for the work of the Partnership, maximises where possible opportunities for the local business community.”

https://copeland.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s11503/210727draftExecreportCPA%20007.pdf

https://copeland.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=135&MId=963&Ver=4

Executive 20th April 2021

The Magnox Inquiry - final report - Lead Member Cllr David Moore

https://copeland.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=135&MId=948&Ver=4

https://copeland.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s10909/210420%20Exec%20Report%20Magnox%20Inquiry.pdf

Executive - Tues 16th March 2021

New Nuclear - Lead Member Cllr David Moore

Executive supports the nomination of the Moorside site and other suitable NDA-owned land around Sellafield into the national siting process. UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) Spherical Tokamak for Energy Production (STEP) Siting Process

https://copeland.moderngov.co.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=135&MId=919&Ver=4

https://copeland.moderngov.co.uk/documents/s10776/STEP%20160321.pdf


69 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

As Nuclear Hotseat commented: Pro-nuke fitness freestyling?!?!??? How low can you go? Oh, wait – it’s coming from pro-nuclear interests. There’s no limit. Check out this twitter link of pro-nuclear in