The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) held its 2019/20 Annual General Meeting and first Steering Committee of 2020 in Manchester, electing its Chair and reconfirming its National Vice Chairs. All four national NFLA Forums were represented at the meeting.
Councillor David Blackburn was re-elected as the NFLA UK and Ireland Chairperson. Vice Chairs and Forum Chairs were also confirmed – NFLA has councillors from 10 different political groupings that are represented within its membership.
On 5th November 2020 the NFLA will be 40 years old and so this year is an important one for the organisation as it challenges the ‘need’ for new nuclear power stations, the long-term management of radioactive waste, the ongoing concerns over nuclear safety, and the imperative in reducing nuclear weapons proliferation; whilst promoting the benefits of renewable and decentralised energy, and non-nuclear weapon defence policies, as more sustainable alternatives.
Key activities that were prioritised for the year include:
- As the UK Government considers spending billions of taxpayer and consumer funds on the financing of new nuclear reactors, NFLA will continue to produce high quality reports, direct lobbying and public meetings to challenge the ‘need’ for new nuclear.
- It will continue producing its detailed series of reports showing best practice in Councils across the UK and Ireland developing far reaching low carbon projects to tackle the climate emergency. Its latest report (out shortly) will show the benefits of developing national and local energy agencies.
- It will continue to raise the many technical and scientific concerns around developing a deep underground radioactive waste repository.
- It will say that the updated offsite nuclear emergency plans for civil and defence nuclear reactors remain too reactive than pro-active and a rethink of them is required.
- It will continue to publicise concerns over the health effects of low level radiation and the need for a renewed scientific debate in this area.
- It will encourage its members to continue to pass resolutions to support the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons and to divest Council pension funds from companies involved in the production and maintenance of nuclear weapons and fossil fuels.
- It will continue to work effectively with its international partners – Mayors for Peace, KIMO International, Cities for a Nuclear Free Europe, the Alliance of Regions for the Phase-out of Nuclear Power in Europe and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.
NFLA have planned meetings over the next few months in Suffolk, Paisley, Cardiff and Newry. Plans are also in place to hold a high profile conference and events in November to commemorate its 40th anniversary.
UK and Ireland NFLA Steering Committee Chair, Councillor David Blackburn said:
“It is a great honour to be re-elected to represent and chair the NFLA Steering Committee. It is clear nuclear power is at a crossroads with the real problems of climate change requiring faster, cheaper, safer and more realisable alternatives. NFLA continues to advocate those alternatives and we will continue to lobby government at all levels to implement them. The world also remains in a dangerous place with the unilateral abrogation of international treaties at a time when there is an obvious need for multilateral nuclear disarmament. NFLA are delighted that over two thirds of the world’s states support the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Over 230 prominent towns and cities around the world also support this Treaty and NFLA will continue to show why the solidarity of our towns and cities remains a core part of delivering a nuclear weapons free world. As we reach our fortieth anniversary NFLA have never been more important in showing the sustainable alternatives to nuclear power and nuclear weapons.”
Ends – for more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary, on 00 44 (0)161 234 3244.