Monday, 23 February 2009

AWE Burghfield campaign update Feb 2009

What a barmy idea it is to have a nuclear facility so close to the large town of Reading. And what a stupid idea to transport nuclear waepons from the Trident base at Faslane in Scotland all the way to AWE, driving hundreds of miles across the country. Even without the threat of terrorism, there is the possibility of the convoy getting lost in the fog(which has happened), lorries breaking down or crashing. Vast numbers of the population are put at risj due to bad planning. This planning can still be affected, as AWE constatntly plans to enlarge, but they can be stopped.

I have written about AWE before, here and here.

Also I took a short film of a blockade, nearly 500 people have seen this;

Over a thousand have seen this;

Here is an update from local peace campaigners.

Things are looking good on the campaign to prevent a new nuclear warhead assembly facility from being built at the Atomic Weapons Burghfield outside Reading. The next few weeks will be an important time in decision making over the campaign, and there is plenty you can do to help influence those decisions

Over 1000 objections have been made to the planning application for the new development, sending a very strong message to West Berkshire Council’s planning committee that the development is not wanted locally. See the BBC News website

Many thanks to everyone who wrote to the council to register an objection and who helped collect signatures during all our street campaign work in January.

Reading Borough Council has shown an interest in the planning application and has submitted a holding objection to West Berkshire while they consider the details of the application. In itself this will not stop the development, but it will probably delay things for a few days and buy us some time. We need to persuade Reading Borough Council that the development is a big enough threat to their interests for them to ask central government to ‘call in’ the development for a decision by
a Minister or, even better, at a public inquiry.

What next?

There are three things we need to do now:

- Continue getting members of the public to write in with objections to the development. A push over the next couple of weeks which brings in another couple of hundred objections will show that opposition to the development remains strong and has not died down.
- Ask local MPs to write to Ministers to say that the development should be called in.
- Demonstrate our opposition to the development to Reading Borough Council so that they ask for the development to be called in.

How you can help

1. Come along to a planning committee meeting to demonstrate your views. A key meeting will take place on 4th March – although we aren’t quite sure where yet! West Berkshire Council have scheduled a meeting to determine the planning application on this date, but Reading Borough Council have written to them asking for the meeting to be postponed, as Reading’s planning committee are also meeting to decide on their
position on the same date!

Assuming the West Berkshire meeting is cancelled, we will attend Reading’s planning committee meeting to show our opposition. Meet at 5.45 pm at the Civic Centre, Reading – bring banners, placards, and suitable fancy dress if you have it!

If the West Berkshire meeting goes ahead after all, we will meet at 5.45 pm at the Council Offices in Market Street, Newbury instead. Watch this space for more details!

2. Can you help us in lobbying local MPs at their constituency surgery meetings this Friday? Rob Wilson (Reading East) is holding his surgery on Friday 27th February at Woodley Library and Martin Salter (Reading West) is holding his surgery later the same evening at the Whitley Advice Shop.

3. Is anyone up for some street campaign work in Reading next Saturday (28th February) to collect more signatures on letters opposing the warhead factory? If so, please let me know. There are still some of you who have not yet written to West Berkshire to give your own views, so if you haven’t yet done so, please take a moment to contact West Berkshire Council to lodge an objection. You can do this online here.

Just click the ‘Submit comments’ box at the top of the page, add your name and address on the form, and remember to mark the box to show that you object to the planning application. You can put a few words in to explain why you are objecting – remember to say that you are a local resident and you are concerned about safety and flooding risks. It only takes a couple of moments – you can ask friends and family who live locally to object, too!

Thanks again for all your help in this campaign and we look forward to your continuing support over the next couple of weeks.


Glenn said...

The Reading PAC are to be advised to request a 'holding order'. Clearly RBC officers haven't been given all the facts - I'd asked for a meeting with AWE, but it never materialised :S

Under planning regulations this application would fly through! Why atomic weapon assembly doesn't have to follow the same process as new nuclear power plants, I'll never know. I for one believe this application must be called into a higher authority.

Some councillors have had 'issues' with this application - and I'm one of them!

Anonymous said...

At this time of severe recession I would of thought the people of Reading would embrace the opportunity to ensure 100s / 1000s of people would remain in full time employment. get over the fact that it is a new building doing exactly what the other buildings have been doing for the last 50 years. the people of reading should spend their time enroling for new jobs at AWE instead of trying to block something that will never be used in anger. the costs that the new building will bw far less than the payout that the bankers of HBOS have received over the last year.

Adrian Windisch said...

This building is a danger to all of us and makes us a target, its a waste of billions. The money thrown at the banks is theoretically a loan, we may get it back. The alternative being to watch them crash. Whats thrown at AWE is wasted.

I prefer to invest the money on lanog term green jobs. Look up the green new deal.