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Cumbrian nuclear waste vote marred by allegations of scare tactics via Business green

Baroness Verma promises to ‘look very carefully’ at allegations councillors may have faced intimidation ahead of vote on radioactive waste disposal facility

The decision by Cumbria Council to block proposals for a new underground storage facility for the radioactive waste currently stored in the county is facing fresh questions, after allegations emerged of an organised campaign to “intimidate” councillors considering voting in favour of further investigation into the plan.

Cumbria Council voted last month to block the next stage of work to assess whether a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) should be developed in the west of the county, despite a vote by Copeland Borough Council in favour of the plan.

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Citing an email from anti-nuclear campaigners that was inadvertently sent to a Copeland councillor, Jenkin said campaigners were, in their own words, seeking to make councillors aware of “the threat that they might be personally liable for irrational or reckless decisions, particularly ones which do not put care of their constituency at their heart”.

The email goes on to state that the goal of the anti-nuclear campaigners is to “scare the crap out of them personally when they go to vote”.

The email first came to light in a blog post from Karl Connor, a Labour councillor on Copeland Borough Council, in which he argued that it proves a handful of councillors were subjected to “a smear campaign designed to frighten and intimidate”.

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