Tories and Labour clash over ‘scaremongering’ plans to store nuclear waste in Milton Keynes

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MP Ben Everitt: ‘There are no plans to store nuclear waste in MK and never will be’

The MP for MK North and leader of Milton Keynes City Council have clashed over claims Milton Keynes is being considered as site to store nuclear waste.

Pete Marland, the council’s Labour leader, claimed a site in the north of the city had been identified as a potential dumping ground for nuclear waste prompting the council and the Labour candidate for MK North to call on the government to 'stop plans to dump nuclear waste in Milton Keynes'.

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They say the council had been contacted by Nuclear Waste Services, the body responsible for managing nuclear waste generated from UK power stations, about an “interested party” looking to use a site on the North of the city.

Ben Everitt, MP for MP NorthBen Everitt, MP for MP North
Ben Everitt, MP for MP North

A petition opposing the plans was also launched by Labour and will be presented to the Secretary of State, Claire Coutinho.

But Ben Everitt, Conservative MP for MK North, has blasted the claims as a scaremongering campaign. And he is demanding leader Mr Marland make a full public apology.

In a statement Mr Everitt said: “It's completely untrue. I've had confirmation from the Nuclear Minister that it's not happening.

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“There are no plans to store nuclear waste in MK and there never will be. It's shameless, irresponsible scaremongering. Utterly disgraceful from MK Labour.”

Peter Marland, leader of MK City CouncilPeter Marland, leader of MK City Council
Peter Marland, leader of MK City Council

He explained a local landowner had enquired about the suitability of a site for waste storage and that the Nuclear Waste Service dismissed it as unsuitable following a review.

He added: “What makes this so desperate and ridiculous from MK Labour is that the land in question was subsequently sold and so never entered the stage where it was even considered as an interested party wanting to develop a 'community partnership'. It's literally a private individual wondering if it could be.

“At some point in this process, the Nuclear Waste Service flagged as a courtesy to MK Council that they'd received an enquiry. The Labour-run Council and local Labour Party have taken this and deliberately twisted it into a deeply misleading political campaign.”

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“It's hugely irresponsible to play politics with this issue - playing on people's fears. The local Labour Party should be ashamed.

“I expect the Labour leader of MK Council and his desperate parliamentary candidate for MK North to make a full public apology for this pathetic, shameful, scaremongering. People deserve better than this low politics.”

But Cllr Marland responded saying: “I see no need to apologise for calling out this useless government on their lunatic plans.”

He told the LDRS (Local Democracy Reporting Service): “I’d be happy to share the emails with him that this was under consideration, however he knows that himself as I have it in strong authority, he’s been in touch with them to raise the matter.”

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The council leader said the Nuclear Waste Services Authority had been in contact with Milton Keynes City Council and held a meeting with council officers “where they were clear” that a site in the north of Milton Keynes is being evaluated for nuclear waste storage.

He added: “The council has given feedback, but we have been warned that the decision on choosing a site is for the government who can overrule local opinion on national infrastructure.”