16 April 2024

A fast-moving situation…

A week is a long time in nuclear waste shenanigans, isn’t it?

Ever since this whole thing exploded into our regional consciousness, it’s been playing havoc with our print deadlines as it’s such a fast-moving situation – which is ironic, given that the consultation had been expected to last several months.

The breaking news has, in the past couple of weeks, had a habit of coming right across our print deadline, but I’m hoping that this week we are a bit more up to date as the latest development – council leader Anne Handley’s announcement that she has decided not to support the plans for the Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) – came on the evening of Tuesday, February 13 (the night before our press deadline).

In this internet age, many people may question why we would even bother to try to be up to date, and that’s a valid point – but, as I’ve said recently, I feel a newspaper’s role is now less “stop press” and more “in-depth analysis”. Where the internet can bring you the latest, we hope to bring you a more considered, longer read.

So, again, we have a range of differing views this week, and I feel that, despite the fact that the GDF plans look set to be kicked into the long grass for good, the debate will likely continue for some time to come.

On the one hand are those who campaigned loud and hard for an immediate no, believing that the threat of having a GDF in this region was just too big a risk to even consider for a moment – and on the other, there are those who feel that the process should have been given more time to reach more people so they could have made more of an informed decision.

Within days of the drop-in sessions beginning across our region, local politicians initially said they were open-minded, and MP Graham Stuart was campaigning for a referendum on the issue. However, the tide soon changed – and the motion before East Riding Council next week will ask the authority to withdraw immediately, which it now surely will.

Without the support of the council, the GDF plans look to be dead in the water – but the “nuclear fallout” from all this will, I think, continue for some months before we can all get back to arguing about Christmas lights displays and dog fouling.

Away from all this, we recently had some very sad news with the loss of Adrienne Jardine, the wife of our regular One Man’s View columnist Bill (who, understandably, is taking some time out).

Occasionally she used to take Bill’s place and write from her own perspective as One Woman’s View, under the tongue-in-cheek byline “The Grunt”.

She stoically and courageously bore ill-health for many years, being lovingly and tirelessly looked after by Bill and her carers, and, latterly, at Willerfoss House in Withernsea, where she died peacefully.

All of us here at the Gazette extend our heartfelt sympathies to Bill and all of the family. Rest in peace, Adrienne.