15 March 2012

Only 32 people respond to plan to scrap nuclear submarines in Plymouth

A CONSULTATION exercise on proposals to cut up decommissioned nuclear submarines in Devonport has received just 32 responses since it was launched in October.

The most recent figures obtained from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) reveal that only 72 feedback forms have been submitted.

34 queries have been logged by the MoD, as well as the 32 'responses', and a total of 3,000 consultation documents have been handed out.

Since October a series of public exhibitions on the controversial Submarine Dismantling Project have been staged in Plymouth and across the country.

An MoD spokesman told The Herald that approximately 1,200 people have attended the events.

The consultation exercise ends next Friday when MoD officials will study the responses before making a decision at a later date.

Members of the public keen to express their views on the proposals are being urged to do so before it's too late.

So far the MoD has received a mixed reaction to the plans.

On consultation forms some people say they are in support of it, while others say they are against it.

"No way should this be happening," one person states. Another adds: "Devonport is too highly populated for this. I do not agree."

But another person states: "The submarines should be dismantled in Devonport to keep employment in this part of England."

As revealed in The Herald last year dismantling decommissioned nuclear submarines in Devonport is the "more reasonable proposition" – according to the MoD.

Documents issued to the public by the MoD state that the "proposed option" is to undertake initial dismantling at both Devonport and Rosyth Dockyards – the two sites originally earmarked for the work.

But it adds that an option to use Rosyth Dockyard only is the "least attractive" in terms of cost.

The reason for it being the least attractive option is because it would "require 20 submarines to be moved north and, in the longer term, there would be no similar work with which to share overheads".

The document adds: "Dismantling at Devonport only, on the other hand, remains a more reasonable proposition."

An assessment of all three dismantling site options will be revisited in light of public consultation responses.

Last year Plymouth City Council leader, Vivien Pengelly, and Devonport Dockyard's trade union boss, Peter Smith, spoke out in support of the proposals.

For further information on the Submarine Dismantling Project visit www.mod.uk/submarinedismantling.

Source: Plymouth Herald. 11 February 2012

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