Implementing Geological Disposal – Working with Communities

Copeland District Association of Local Councils (CDALC)

Position Statement (March 2021)

1.CDALC supports, in principle, the consent-based approach of working in partnership in an open and transparent way with communities and welcome the definition and prominence given to the “potential host community”.

2CDALC sees the parish council as the tier of local government which most closely coincides with the geography and interests of a “host community”.

3.At this early stage, CDALC has no preconceived view about the merits or demerits of siting a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) in West Cumbria.

4.Parish councils should be central participants in the GDF process rather than purely consultees and be directly represented on both the initial working party and the community partnership, should one or more be formed.

5.CDALC will seek to test and challenge the work being undertaken in the GDF process in a constructive manner. In view of the resources that this will require, CDALC will seek financial support from the Engagement Package.

6.CDALC considers the Community Investment Funding Package should be described in as much detail as possible at an early stage, given that parish councils may now be starting to spend their time on GDF issues. CDALC believes methods should be explored for delivering community benefits in advance of the formation of Community Partnership groups

7.In the interests of probity, consideration of matters concerning the environment and GDF safety should be kept separate from consideration of community benefits.

8.Any site chosen for a GDF must fully meet all environmental and safety criteria. The criteria should not be comprised by other considerations.

9.CDALC will represent the interests of parish councils in Copeland during the working party stage and should a community partnership be formed in a particular area, when individual parish councils can represent the interests of potential “host communities, it will support those/that parish council and continue to represent the interests of all other local councils in Copeland.

10 CDALC will attempt to ensure that the working group (and RWM) establishes a clear strategy for how they will both engage with and communicate to parish councils

Copeland District Association of Local Councils

23 March 2021