Tag Archives: sizewell

Suffolk County: LibDems and Greens lone voices against Sizewell

Conservative and Labour councillors at Suffolk County Council yesterday chose to not oppose the development of Sizewell C, despite acknowledging the irreparable harm it could cause to the Suffolk coastline and economy.

The Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent Group had proposed a motion asking Suffolk County Council to oppose the development of Sizewell C and set up a cross-party panel to consider whether the council should maintain its current ‘in-principle’ support for nuclear power.

However, the motion was lost after both the Conservative and Labour groups stated that they would not support it. There were just 12 votes in favour, 50 against and 4 abstentions.

The LDGI Stop Sizewellc speakers: Cllrs Caroline Page, David Wood (Proposer), Andrew Stringer (Seconder, replacing Elfrede Brambley Crawshaw), Penny Otton, Robert Lindsey, Inga Lockington Note their names & faces.Together with John Field  they made a stand for our future

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My speech:

Colleagues, we represent the people of Suffolk. But, in supporting Sizewell C it is as if their concerns and objections did not exist. 

Why would anyone support it?

Economic benefit?  We’re told Sizewell C will bring in £100m annually.  But the tourist benefit of the Suffolk Coastal AONB, coastal heaths – plus all  the natural environment around is £240m annually. Who will visit a building site?  Sizewell C will lose us money.

We’re told SIzewell will bring local jobs? Yet 75% of the workers will need purpose built accommodation. So, not very local.

Not forgetting Sizewell C will lose Suffolk Coastal  jobs by inflicting permanent damage to the tourist industry the Suffolk coast relies on – and for which it is famed.  Sizewell will trample over an AONB,  damaging a vital resource: the age-old countryside in which it sits.  What an own goal. 

As the sheriff says in Fargo: “All for a little bit of money.”

Our beautiful Suffolk coast is now rebranded the Energy coast. 7% of UK electricity will come from Sizewell. Yet the impact of building and running it will have a 100% impact on the Suffolk coast and its residents. And that impact is negative.

Do remember, the waste from Sizewell C will be stored “temporarily onsite” – just as the waste from Sizewell B is still being stored “temporarily onsite”. They’re still looking for solutions.  What will it cost? Who pays?

So, Suffolk gets to lose maybe £140million a year, for loss of AONB and ancient countryside, while gaining many years’ impact of building works, much additional traffic despite our green commitments, and the longterm problem of nuclear waste.

This is for a power plant that is already obsolete before it is built. With the advance of wind generated energy, the financial case for  nuclear power no longer adds up.

Sizewell does not make economic sense, environmental sense, common sense

Words like ‘mitigation,  compensation’ fall very short of addressing the destruction of an historic way of life for people and environment. When these words get used to describe the wholesale destruction of our countryside and way of life for no apparent gain whatsoever, it is time to halt this idiocy.

Colleagues, we all know Sizewell is a dinosaur. There is no need for us to play Jurassic Park.

Woodbridge: the county news. My October report


County Council Boundary changes consultation This affects us all. The Boundary Commission have now announced that they will be looking to reduce the number of Suffolk County Councillors  from 75 to 70. This means that boundaries will change. The next stage of the process is to determine where new division boundaries should be.
This is the chance for everyone – to have their say – both as councils and as individuals. Whilst I have personal reservations about the efficacy of reducing the number of county councillors when our workload is so heavy (at least, mine is) I suggest that this is an excellent time to look at the borders of the Woodbridge division, to ensure they work best for Woodbridge. For example, it has never been at all appropriate that the road-markings up the middle of Pyches Road separate the Woodbridge and Wickham divisions, particularly when Suffolk County Council is the Highways authority.
The public consultation will run until 2 December 2019. I urge you to take part: https://consultation.lgbce.org.uk/node/18495

Local bus cut developments The petition for the 800 and 64 services has now surpassed 1500 signatures on and offline. (We had a stall in the Thoroughfare during the Carfree Day and gained another 400).
I have met with the Transport Manager and Business and Information Manager for Suffolk’s Growth, Highways and Infrastructure directorate to discuss how to go forward with this. They emphasise they have limited capacity to sway First decisions, although I point out that they are paying a significant sum of public money to First for bus-passes.
In parallel, as you know, we are arranging a meeting for many of the parishes along the route, and then with First.

Sizewell C – response to Stage 4 Consultation On 24 September, the Cabinet agreed a response to EDF’s Stage 4 consultation for Sizewell C. The Cabinet maintains that they support the principle of nuclear technology, but do not currently have sufficient information to support the proposals for Sizewell C.
You will have been copied in to my response as Woodbridge County Councillor.
My county group (of Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent councillors) has called on the Suffolk Cabinet to reject EDF’s proposals for Sizewell C . It responded to the consultation with concerns including:
• Expense: EDF will be overcharging UK consumers for electricity from Sizewell for the next 35 years. Latest prices of offshore wind generated power, per KWhr, without any subsidy, are less than half what EDF is being guaranteed;
• Impact on the surrounding natural environment, including the Suffolk Coast and Heaths AONB;
• Impact on the tourism industry;
• Additional carbon emissions and congestion from a road-led strategy;
• Lack of planning for nuclear waste disposal;
• Unsympathetic design to the surrounding natural area;
• Additional pylons in an already crowded landscape;
• Not convinced by EDF’s economic development argument.

County Budget monitoring – first quarter At the end of Q1, the council is forecasting a net overspend by the end of the year of £1.2m on the Base Budget and £6.7m on the Dedicated Schools Grant Budget.
The base budget overspend is largely due to rising costs for adult care, an overspend on the Home-to-School transport budget, and an increase in the number of children in care with complex needs who require specialist placements. Most other departments at the council are forecasting to spend on budget.
The £6.7m overspend on the schools budget is largely due to an increase in children with complex Special Educational Needs, and the increased costs for support and transport to schools outside of Suffolk that go alongside this. Although the council has agreed to spend on building new special education placements within Suffolk, which ought to address some of this expenditure in the future, it is too late for this financial year.

Continuing delay to children’s centre consultation Suffolk County Council has confirmed that there is “no firm start date” for the consultation regarding potential closures of children’s centres. Originally, the Council had stated that this consultation would start in September and run for 6 weeks.
The Council is proposing to close 2 children’s centres completely – including the Caterpillar Centre in Woodbridge – convert a further 11 to SEND facilities or nurseries, reduce 9 to part-time hours and convert the remaining 16 into family hubs providing services for families with children aged 0-19.

County Councillor’s Surgery: My surgery this month is on the 19th October. It will be a little  shorter than usual, as I will be going on to attend the Peoples Vote March in London.

Why I cannot support Sizewell C

Suffolk County Council submitted a response to the deeply disappointing Sizewell Stage 4 consultation, as did Woodbridge’s Town Council. These are my concerns,  written specifically as Woodbridge County Councillor – and as LibDem Green and Independent group county councillor representing a division affected by the development

First and foremost I deplore that the consultation does little to answer – or even ameliorate – concerns that were raised by the many respondents to the stage 3 consultation. It is as if the concerns and suggestions of the people of Suffolk did not exist.

Secondly,  I would query why we are still even considering building Sizewell C?  It is intended that Suffolk  will  be supplying about 30% of the UK’s electricity – but only about 7% of UK electricity will come from Sizewell C, the rest will be offshore. Suffolk contains 1.4% of the UK’s population. The impact of the building – let alone the running – of Sizewell C will have a 100% impact on the people of Suffolk coastal. This impact is largely negative.

We are told that the benefits of Sizewell C will bring £100m annually to Suffolk.  But the tourist benefit of the Suffolk Coastal AONB  and coastal heaths, and of the natural environment of countryside around  is £240m annually– on all of which Sizewell C will have an adverse impact via a range of issues such as loss of coastal paths, unsympathetic design, the 10-12 year impact of building works, and all the additional traffic. This does not make economic sense.

Thirdly,  the financial case for  nuclear power no longer adds up. EDF will be overcharging UK consumers for electricity from Sizewell for the next 35 years:  prices of offshore wind-generated power, per KWhr, without any subsidy, are less than half what EDF is being guaranteed. Continue reading Why I cannot support Sizewell C