|Radioactive Waste and Cumbria|
On 30th January 2013, the Cabinet of Cumbria County Council decided to withdraw from the Government’s MRWS process. For 3 years, the County Council, together with Allerdale Borough Council and Copeland Borough Council, had been involved in the preliminary stages (Stages 1, 2 and 3) of MRWS
For MRWS to progress beyond Stage 3 in either Copeland or Allerdale, Cumbria County Council and the relevant Borough Council had to vote to continue. Hence, the County Council’s decision apparently puts an end to the MRWS process in Cumbria.
The MRWS process was based on a principle that the Government called “voluntarism”. With the publication of its White Paper in 2008, it issued an invitation to local authorities to make an “Expression of Interest”. These 3 councils are the only ones that had expressed an interest, but the invitation is still open and Ed Davey, Secretary of State at the Department of Energy and Climate Change, has said that he expects that other councils elsewhere in the country will do so.
Speaking on BBC Radio Cumbria on January 31st 2013, Sir Tony Cunningham (MP for Workington) said that the MRWS process in Cumbria is now "dead".
Subsequently, the County Council's decision was "called in" by 3 members from Copeland. This meant that a scrutiny committee would need to examine the original decision to determine whether it was in order. The committee met on 19th February and unanimously resolved that it had been: the original decision was upheld.