The Nuclear Free Local Authorities (NFLA) welcomes the resolution passed at the latest full meeting of North Lanarkshire Council supporting the organisation and publicising its opposition to the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system. NFLA calls on its members across the UK and Ireland to consider passing similar resolutions.
The North Lanarkshire Council resolution received cross party support and comes at a time when the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons system is at the top of the political agenda.
The core of the resolution states:
“North Lanarkshire Council reaffirms its long-standing membership of ‘Nuclear Free Local Authorities’ and backs that organisation’s objective of building support across local authorities, of all political persuasions, in the UK and Ireland for a global future free from nuclear weapons.
The Council, therefore, is wholly opposed to the present Conservative Government’s proposal to renew the Trident nuclear weapons system, Council instruct the Chief Executive to write to H.M. Government stating the Council’s view that such a policy course would be without moral, social, economic or military justification and urging it to abandon Trident renewal”. (1)
Coming just a few weeks before the 35th anniversary of the establishment of the NFLA, this resolution was welcomed at a meeting of the NFLA Steering Committee and it was agreed to encourage all its members to consider passing similar resolutions. It follows on from a number of NFLA members endorsing a joint resolution passed by Mayors for Peace, Religions for Peace and Parliamentarians for Non-proliferation and Nuclear Disarmament calling for renewed efforts to bring about a nuclear weapons free world. (2)
A Parliamentary debate on Trident replacement is expected in early 2016. Many MPs from across the political spectrum are opposed to Trident replacement and this resolution joins with other groups in encouraging MPs to vote against a system that could cost, over its lifetime, as much as £100 billion.
NFLA is a supporter of the No Trident Replacement Steering Group, the Rethink Trident statement – which has been endorsed by MPs, prominent representatives, faith leaders, trade unions and disarmament groups – (3) and the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). The Rethink Trident statement has been signed by the Leaders of the Labour Party, Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party and elected representatives of the SDLP and Sinn Fein.
NFLA Chair Councillor Norman McDonald said:
“On behalf of NFLA, I warmly welcome the cross-party support given by North Lanarkshire councillors to supporting our organisation and opposing the renewal of the Trident nuclear weapons programme.
At a time of deep austerity in local government and other parts of the public sector, it is illogical to go ahead with an exorbitantly expensive nuclear weapons programme which is neither independent nor a real deterrent. Over 120 countries have now signed the ‘humanitarian pledge’ which reminds us of the devastating consequences of nuclear weapons in terms of millions of deaths, environmental catastrophe and wholesale dislocation across the planet. The UK Parliament will have a once in a generation opportunity to do the right thing and send a message around the world that can initiate a process of multilateral nuclear disarmament”. (4)
North Lanarkshire Councillor and its NFLA representative, David Fagan, said:
“This motion sends a clear signal that North Lanarkshire Council is wholly opposed to the replacement of Trident. At a time where we as a council are facing cuts of £40 million over each of the next two years, it seems mad that the Government is spending billions on a weapons system that pretty much everyone agrees should and could never be used.
We would rather this money was invested in providing services and jobs which enhance our communities.”
For more information please contact Sean Morris, NFLA Secretary on 0161 234 3244 or 07771 930196.
Notes for editors:
(1) The North Lanarkshire Council resolution on Trident was passed with cross-party support at the Council’s meeting on the 1st October 2015.
(2) See NFLA Media Release on International Peace Day, 21st September 2015:
(3) Rethink Trident statement, http://www.rethinkttrident.org
(4) For more information on the ‘Humanitarian Pledge’ resolution, go to ICAN’s website:
http://www.icanw.org/pledge. Councillor McDonald was appointed NFLA Chair at the meeting on the 2nd October and will undertake this role until the NFLA AGM on the 4th December.