£128m community windfall could benefit Burnham-On-Sea
community groups could be in line for major cash windfalls in
the future after the Department for Energy and Climate Change
this week announced £128m of funding for Somerset to offset
the development of Hinkley Point C power station.
package worth £3.2m per year has been offered to communities
near the new Hinkley Point C nuclear power station, including
Bridgwater, West Somerset and the Burnham-On-Sea area.
deal, totalling £128m, will last for 40 years, which is
the planned lifetime of Hinkley Point C.
District Council has "warmly welcomed" the announcement
that the government will introduce the community benefits in recognition
of the impact that the proposed nuclear facilities will have on
those living in the area.
money could be used for a range of local projects for those who
will not see any direct and tangible benefits themselves, such
as facilities for the elderly," council spokeswoman Claire
Faun explained to Burnham-On-Sea.com.
announcement will mean the local community will be justly compensated
for hosting what is a major national infrastructure project, required
in order to meet a national need, but where the impacts are felt
represents a fair settlement for the community affected and ensures
consistency with similar forms of community benefit for onshore
wind and shale gas."
added: "A local impact report has been drawn up to identify
the area around Hinkley by drive time that will be impacted by
the development and Burnham was included."
Duncan McGinty, Leader of Sedgemoor District Council, right, also
welcomed the announcement.
has for years been championing Community Benefit Contributions
as an important mechanism to ensure the communities around Hinkley
Point receive fair and reasonable benefits in recognition of the
burden of hosting nationally beneficial energy infrastructure."
we still have to study the package in detail, we are extremely
pleased to see this announcement today which will greatly reassure
the people of Bridgwater and West Somerset. Community benefits
can be a flagship for the principle of localism and the successful
delivery of other major infrastructure projects such as new airports,
rail links, and other power stations."
has worked hard over the past five years to make sure that communities
in Sedgemoor will benefit from hosting a new nuclear power station.
It is a landmark decision by the government to award the estimated
£3.2 million a year to compensate the nearby communities,
but it is extremely early days."
money is not scheduled to be available until the new power station
is built and generating electricity, which is estimated to be
up to 10 years hence."
that time, it will be for the communities to decide how and upon
what to spend the money. At this stage, it would be a little foolhardy
to speculate on finer details of who, what, why and when."
campaigners at Stop Hinkley, pictured below, who are opposed to
the development of Hinkley C, say the deal does not go far enough.
Theo Simon told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "This deal, which breaks
down to only £3 million a year going to local councils for
the next 40 years, is no
compensation at all."
EDF get their way in the current price negotiations with the government,
we will all be paying a massive extra nuclear tariff on our electricity
bills over the same period, and our taxes will be underwriting
the whole project by literally billions."
one can criticise our councillors for squeezing more money out
of central government, but the amounts need to be put in the wider
context. Somerset County council has seen budget cuts of £20
million this year under the Tories austerity programme and this
is hitting the vulnerable and low paid across the whole of the
county. £3 million is really not very much in the overall
budget - the County's capital investment programme alone is £38
million for 2013/2014."
truth is, this is another example of the kind of paltry social
bribes we are being offered to make the nuclear project more palatable.
Even then, I see that much of the money will be spent on creating
EDF's future workforce through nuclear training programmes."
the end of the day, EDF will walk away with billions in profits
and our descendants in Somerset will be left to pick up the bill
for managing the toxic waste they leave behind."
about the first 10 years the government money will be made up
of business rates retained locally. Cash in the second phase,
from 2030-2060, will come directly from the Department for Energy
and Climate Change.
sum has been based on the amount of energy the power station generates
- up to 1,000/MW per annum for up to 40 years.
Sedgemoor District Council had been arguing for the funding to
be activated during the construction phase but this was rejected
by the government in May, although it was recommended by a select
committee looking into the issue.