Last Wednesday, as we were going to press with the January 25 edition, our reporter Rebecca was heading to Hessle to attend the press briefing on the announcement that South Holderness had been identified as a potential location for underground nuclear waste storage.
Although we, along with every other news outlet, had the story, it was strictly embargoed until 9am the following morning, which, to put it bluntly, totally spannered our print edition – but them’s the breaks with newspaper deadlines.
As soon as 9am came along we carried the story on our website, but of course we knew it would run and run. As the proposed project is expected to last 175 years, it could run for a fair while!
While a print edition obviously cannot beat the internet for “breaking news”, it can often provide more in-depth and considered reading, as opposed to bite-size information that you scroll through absent-mindedly while eating your cornflakes. So, this week, we carry a range of opinions from a range of people in our special feature on pages 8 and 9.
It’s important, I think, to stress our function here, which is not to come down on any particular side – especially as we do not really know at this stage what the project is likely to entail. Feelings are already running high, with some who are vociferously against it and others who are keeping more of an open mind, but I would recommend attending one of the drop-in sessions taking place over the coming couple of weeks.
The sessions are from Aldbrough to Burstwick, which to me suggests that the project leaders are looking at an area larger than South Holderness, but I’m sure we will find out more as the weeks go on.
There’s also been talk of reviving the rail links to the east coast, which haven’t been in operation for 60 years. Here’s where I might turn into a NIMBY overnight as I live right next to the old Withernsea line, and I’m not sure I want trains whizzing past my house. Then again… it’d take five minutes to get to work, so… hmm. I’m fairly relaxed about that as I cannot see it happening, to be honest, and you do wonder whether the poor transport links around here might be what scuppers this nuclear project from the start. You can’t stick radioactive waste on the number 75.
So, please do attend the events if you can. Read up on it – be informed. The same goes for the issue of devolution, which, more than likely, would have been our front page had this nuclear waste story not broken.
Read our feature on pages 14 and 15 for more opinions on another proposal that could potentially transform our region’s fortunes. Or not, as some believe. Whatever you think – PLEASE have your say. Although you could argue that mass apathy is understandable given some politicians’ behaviour in recent times, for me apathy is the biggest threat to democracy.