The long-overdue clean-up of Dalgety Bay beach has been delayed yet again as the Ministry of Defence confirm a revised date from Spring to 1 July 2021, infuriating local MP, Neale Hanvey, who has branded promises from the MoD as “misleading at best and verging on the downright dishonest”.
In a stern letter to the Secretary of State for Defence, Mr Hanvey described his “serious alarm” and “concern” at the failure of the MoD to obtain the necessary licences to begin the clean-up at Dalgety Bay beach. While falling short of blaming the Minister for the misleading information, the local MP demanded an explanation for the “contradictory positions” between the MoD and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
The furore arose following information provided to the South and West Fife Area Committee last week when SEPA confirmed that no application had been submitted to carry out the work in Dalgety Bay and that there was a projected four-month turnaround for submitted applications. This raised serious questions over the timeline for the work presented by the MoD.
In his letter to the Defence Secretary, Mr Hanvey pointed out that he had been informed by the Minister for Defence Procurement on 25 November that applications for the licences had been submitted. Responding on behalf of the Secretary of State, the Minister skirted the issue before confirming that “the final elements of the application” are yet to be submitted.
Commenting, Neale Hanvey MP said:
“After trying to spin their way out of this last week, the MoD has now confirmed, once again, that the radiation clean-up at Dalgety beach has been delayed by their own failings. The Minister even had the gall to tell me that they are looking forward to work getting underway in the summer.
“We’ve heard it all before, so I think folk in Dalgety Bay can be forgiven for being sceptical about the MoD’s promises. Although, it must be said, this is the first time there has been such a clear inconsistency between the MoD’s claims and the truth as set out by SEPA.
“As I said to the Defence Secretary, people in Dalgety Bay have been disregarded for too long and I will not tire in providing my constituents with the robust representation they expect and deserve.
“The MoD must face up to its responsibilities and understand that no amount of mealy-mouthed excuses will make this issue go away.”