Secretary of State Says he WILL Consider a Call in Should Cumbria County Council say Yes Again to this Uniquely Dangerous Plan

Many thanks to the Cumberland Echo for publishing this report…

Coal mine objectors claim some progress
Written by John Walsh   
Thursday, 24 September 2020
coalin the hole.png

Radiation Free Lakeland are claiming progress in their campaign to stop a new coal-mining plan for west Cumbria. The South Lakes based nuclear safety campaigners have had a reply to their call for the forthcoming decision on the coal mine to be called in should the County Council approve the amended plan. 

The Secretary of State has replied to the group saying he will consider a call in.Radiation Free Lakeland were the first group to oppose the coal mine back in 2017 under their Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole campaign.They are the only group actively campaigning against the plan on nuclear concerns.

Founder of RaFL Marianne Birkby, raised nearly £11,000 by crowd funding in order to take on the legal challenge against Cumbria County Council’s decision.With the help of top lawyers Leigh Day that legal challenge has seen the coal plan repeatedly kicked into the long grass.

She said: “This reply from the Secretary of States office, saying that he will consider whether or not to call in the decision should the Council say yes is good news.  “There are many reasons why this plan should be scrapped, not only on climate grounds but on nuclear safety grounds too.”

The Nuclear safety campaigners are keeping a close eye on the ongoing inquiry into the series of methane explosions in May 2020 at a newly constructed metallurgical mine in Australia. The new mine in Queensland operated by Anglo American has seen a catalogue of disasters.

It was reported – “Four of the men, who sustained horrific burns to their upper torsos and airways, have only just been moved out of intensive care, while the fifth miner was released from hospital in late May. Testifying to the intensity of the blast, he told the media that it melted the workers’ helmets and ear plugs and burnt their work clothing.”  ( )RaFL have urged the council to look at the similarities and at the big nuclear difference between the new Australian mine and the Cumbria plan.The Australian mine was billed as “state of the art” which is highly automated requiring less employees  and is a methane rich metallurgical coal mine.  The big difference say Cumbrian nuclear safety campaigners is that the Australian mine is not five miles from the world’s acknowledged biggest concentration of radioactivity at Sellafield or beneath the Cumbrian Mud Patch – a named sediment ‘patch’ off the St Bees coastline containing plutonium and tonnes of other chemical and radioactive material from decades of nuclear reprocessing.  Campaigners have sent councillors a dedicated report by an expert in marine radioactivity Tim Deere- Jones regarding the resuspension of radioactive wastes resulting from new mine subsidence.   

More from the Cumberland Echo Here

Petition to Stop the Cumbrian Coal Mine can be signed here

Bad News and Good News

Dear Friends,

There is bad news and good news.  Bad news is that apparently the Development Control & Regulation decision cannot be ‘called in’ internally by Cumbria County Council

Good news is that all your fantastic emails and messages to councillors and others has resulted in Tim Farron MP requesting that the Secretary of State calls in this diabolic decision to give a green light to the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades.

We shall give an update on how we can best support this request for a call in by Tim Farron MP to the Secretary of State as soon as possible.

In the meantime – for those folk who were not able to get to the meeting, here are a few videos taken on the day (sorry I didn’t get all the speakers including myself!)   Grab a cuppa and watch the terrible drama unfold – and make no mistake this will make your toes curl.  It is significant that the proximity to Sellafield was not even brought up as an issue by the Council officers.  Sickeningly the members of the committee laughed their socks off when I pointed out that a liquefaction event had taken place in Barrow in the 1800’s – the ground at Sellafield is at high risk of liquefaction in the event of seismic activity.  The last thing we need is earthquake inducing deep mining and massive fresh water extraction to wash the coal (to be extracted from a fault near Whitehaven – they kept that freshwater extraction quiet!).


Part 1. Council Officials addressing the  Development Control and Regulation Committee of Cumbria County Council. The full council did not have a chance to debate this.  We heard Lib Dem Cllr and Chair of the meeting Geoff Cook clearly approve of the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades. Incredibly the close proximity (8km) to Sellafield was not discussed at all by councillors or by their officials.



Part 2 . Part 2. Official of Cumbria County Council outlining how adverse effects can be mitigated from the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades (really?)


Part 3. Dr Henry Adams of SLACCtt making a presentation to Cumbria County Council “SLACCtt most strongly objects to West Cumbria Mining’s application because the carbon emissions it would add are so huge that they would have very significant negative consequences that would far outweigh the benefits claimed.”


Part 4.  Dr Laurie Michaelis IPCC Emissions report author and coordinator of Living Witness.  making a breathtaking presentation to Cumbria County Council –

“Speaking to you feels like possibly the single most important thing I’ll do in my life.”

which they totally ignored.


Part 5. Sam of Radiation Free Lakeland/Keep Cumbrian Coal in the Hole exposes West Cumbria Mining’s false promises over jobs. “It would be truly difficult to find a bigger dead duck proposal than producing fossil fuels for a declining European steel industry. …Cumbria has had it’s fair share of dead and dying industries – old coal and now nuclear – we do not need another dead duck industry . . . Coal is not the future. It could perhaps be said of the WCM proposal that it was a well-intentioned attempt to bring employment to the area. It could equally be said that it was an unrealistic bubble from the start What we need are jobs that do have a future. Please look to the future stability of jobs in Cumbria and JUST SAY NO.”


Part 6.  Dr Stuart Parkinson, Executive Director of Scientists for Global Responsibility   “In summary, approving this application for a coal mine would be a huge step backwards for efforts to tackle climate change – and thus would increase the risks of extreme weather events such as storms and floods. Meanwhile, the economic case for the mine is flawed. Therefore, I strongly urge the planning committee to reject the application. ”   

Part 7. Mayor of Copeland, Mike Starkie tells councillors to Ignore the “sensationalist” claims of the objectors who have nothing to do with West Cumbria and the objectors views should carry no weight whatsoever (?! what a brass neck this Mayor has… many objectors are local to Whitehaven  and WCM is a dodgy company funded by who knows who from who knows where). Councillors agree entirely with the Mayor of Copeland (who makes the ‘Jaws’ Mayor look quite reasonable) and vote unanimously to approve the first deep coal mine in the UK in decades.  The Mayor points out that Sellafield are right behind this plan to mine deep holes in Cumbria.




Why is West Cumbria Coal Mining Advisor Hiding Down Under In Oz? Earthquakes, Sellafield Nuclear Site and Methane Mix? — Mining Awareness

Many thanks to the blogger Mining Awareness for this….


Comment deadline is July 10th. For more info: Donald Anthony Carroll is listed as a Company Director/Advisor for WEST CUMBRIA MINING (HOLDINGS) LIMITED and WEST CUMBRIA MINING LIMITED. He is actually “hiding” “Down Under” because his country of residence is Australia and his Nationality is Australian. However, that puts both him and the Investment […]

via Why is West Cumbria Coal Mining Advisor Hiding Down Under In Oz? Earthquakes, Sellafield Nuclear Site and Methane Mix? — Mining Awareness