Copeland Labour Group Respond To Claims The Party Is Attempting To ‘Block’ West Cumbria Mine Progress

By Rachael Grealish

Copeland Labour Party (CLP) has responded to claims by Conservative MPs and elected leaders the party is attempting to ‘block’ the progress of the West Cumbria Mine.

Earlier today, Thursday February 18, Cumbria’s Conservative MP and leaders accused the party of attempting to block the approval of the mine after Cumbria County Council put the plans on hold after ‘new information’ came to light,

In a social media post responding to the comments made by Copeland mayor Mike Starkie, Copeland MP Trudy Harrison, Workington MP Mark Jenkinson, among others, the party called their claims ‘Trump-style fake news’.

The post said: “This is utterly disgraceful Trump-style fake news and deception from the unelected Tory Mayor Mike Starkie and his Conservative pals.”

It continued to state the Copeland Labour councillors actually support the mine.

This is utterly disgraceful Trump-style fake news and deception from the unelected Tory Mayor Mike Starkie and his…

Posted by Copeland Labour on Thursday, 18 February 2021

In a previous post, shared on February 10, the CLP explained their stance on the plans for the mine.

They said: “For clarity — Cumbria County Council has not “stopped the mine” or “bottled it” — they have been forced to bring back the decision to the committee stage because of planning laws (which are set by the Conservative Government) and information and guidelines on climate control (which are also set and published by the Conservative Government).”

Cumbria County Council were approached by The Herdwick News for a response to the MPs letter but were unable to comment further on the situation.

However, previously a Cumbria County Council spokesperson said: “After the receipt and consideration of new information, Cumbria County Council’s Development Control and Regulation (DC&R) Committee will now reconsider the planning application by West Cumbria Mining to create a metallurgical coal mine off the coast near Whitehaven.”

The Council goes onto say new information has been received prior to issue of the formal decision so the planning application needed to be reconsidered.

“This decision has been taken because in December 2020, the Government’s Climate Change Committee released its report on its recommendations for the Sixth Carbon Budget, a requirement under the Climate Change Act,” it read

“The report, among other things, sets out the volume of greenhouse gases the UK aims to emit during 2033-2037. This new information has been received prior to the issue of the formal decision notice on the application.

“In light of this the Council has decided that the planning application should be reconsidered by DC&R.”