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Here is the joint letter sentl by 53 Parish Councils urging EDF to postpone Sizewell C plans over fears that the coronavirus could prevent debate


To: Humphrey Cadoux-Hudson EDF Energy, cc Julia Pyke, Carly Vince, Richard Bull, Tom McGarry  cc Therese Coffey MP, Peter Aldous MP, Dan Poulter MP cc Planning Inspectorate, Sizewell C Case Team cc Cllr Richard Rout, Suffolk County Council, Cllr Craig Rivett, East Suffolk Council
 
31 March 2020   We welcome your decision not to submit your application for a Development Consent Order for Sizewell C for “a few weeks” but given the seriousness of this medical crisis and the significant national and local impacts of Sizewell C, we do not consider a short delay to be acceptable. We acknowledge that you propose to extend ​the period for registration as interested parties, but ​Government advice is that restrictions on free movement and gatherings could last in some form or other for most of the year.
 
● We are concerned that the Planning Inspectorate may not have the resources to be able to assess the DCO application properly in the first 28 days. Already PINS staff are working remotely and it is difficult for members of the public to be in contact with them.
● County and District Councils, which are mandated to respond to questions about EDF’s Community consultation during this initial 28 day period, may not have the resources due to sickness and remote-working to fully deal with the application. Additionally, relevant officers should not be distracted from focusing on keeping vital local services operating during this time.
● If the application is accepted, it may be impossible to view documentation in hard copy and local printing resources are limited at present. Whilst some documents can be viewed digitally those who do not use the internet will be discriminated against, and the experience of Parishes at Hinkley Point was that some documents - such as maps - were impossible to view properly online.
● Parish and Town Councils are prevented from meeting in person and with the public for the foreseeable future and our ability to respond and engage with the public will be significantly compromised as a result.
● Wider public engagement in the examination process will be severely compromised. We are especially concerned about the ability of the older and more vulnerable members of our society to fully and effectively engage, who are self-isolating, unwell, and are less likely to have access to digital and online resources. Extending the period for registration is unlikely to assist such members of our society. 
 
All of the above combine to make us very concerned about the robustness of the process and full and effective engagement​ ​on a project that has significant impacts across the County. We call on you to defer submitting your DCO until such time as the Planning Inspectorate, Government’s Statutory Advisers, Local Authorities, Parish and Town Councils, Groups and individuals are fully resourced, able to engage, and all restrictions on public gatherings have been permanently lifted. 
 
Sharon Smith Clerk, Theberton and Eastbridge Parish Council,
on behalf of
Stephen Brett, Chair and Tim Beach, Chair, Snape Parish Council and the following 53 Parish and Town Councils:

Aldeburgh Town Council
Aldringham-cum-Thorpe Parish Council
Bawdsey Parish Council
Benhall and Sternfield Parish Council
Blaxhall Parish Council Brandeston Parish Council
Bredfield Parish Council
Bromeswell Parish Council
Bungay Town Council
Butley, Capel St Andrew and Wantisden Parish Council
Campsea Ashe Parish Council
Charsfield Parish Council
Chillesford Parish Meeting
Corton Parish Council
Darsham Parish Council
Dunwich Parish Meeting
Earl Soham Parish Council
Farnham with Stratford St Andrew Parish Council
Friston Parish Counci
Great Glemham Parish Council
Hacheston Parish Council
Halesworth Town Council
Iken Parish Council
Kelsale-cum-Carlton Parish Council
Kirton and Falkenham Parish Council
Knodishall Parish Council
Leiston-cum-Sizewell Town Council
Levington and Stratton Hall Parish Council
Marlesford Parish Council
Martlesham Parish Council
Melton Parish Council Middleton Parish Council
Nacton Parish Council
Parham Parish Council
Peasenhall Parish Council
Pettistree Parish Council
Rendham Parish Council
Saxmundham Town Council
Snape Parish Council
Southwold Town Council
Sudbourne Parish Council
Sutton Parish Council
Sweffling Parish Council
Theberton & Eastbridge Parish Council
Ufford Parish Council
Waldringfield Parish Council
Wenhaston Parish Council
Westerfield Parish Council
Westleton Parish Council
Wickham Market Parish Council
Wissett Parish Council
Woodbridge Town Council
Yoxford Parish Council
In addition to those formally signing above, Walberswick and Great Bealings Parish Councils also expressed considerable concern.

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In response to an article in praise of Sizewell C by the Principal of Alde Valley Academy in the East Anglian Daily Times, Catherine Rowett, Former MEP for the East of England wrote the following reply. 

Sir,

I was shocked to read in EADT of 3rd April, the principal of an academy school in Leiston passing on such ignorance and fake news about the supposed benefits of building a new nuclear power station in the area. As if it might yield good jobs, or have any connection with the teaching of STEM subjects to the young!

The fact is that the proposed Sizewell C power station is destined to replicate Hinkley C and other installations built in France and Finland. We know that EDF will import experienced technicians, to repeat work they did elsewhere. EDF will not employ local people in either the smart jobs, or the manual labour. And no one should want their students to be working on nuclear waste disposal jobs.

We know for a fact that renewable energy generates more jobs, more permanent jobs and more benefit to the local community, at lower cost and with less environmental damage. And besides, renewable energy is far cheaper, and it comes online more swiftly. So why is a High School teacher delivering such nonsense, and why publicise it in the paper? I am seriously gobsmacked.

Yours truly,

 

Professor Catherine Rowett, Former MEP for the East of England