FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Councillor Duncan McGinty of Sedgemoor District Council has been shortlisted under the Policy Driver category for the 2nd Grassroot Diplomat Initiative Award. The award recognises UK-based politicians and diplomats who are representing civilian interests at the highest level in areas of policy, social and business overall. The Councillor is nominated for securing a multi-million pound benefit package for communities set to host the country’s first third generation new nuclear power station.
The building of a new power station in Hinkley Point C is a major project for Sedgemoor, bringing in 35,000 people to work on the site. The 10-year construction project, however, is likely to disrupt local communities and add high levels of stress. As the face of the communities impacted, Cllr McGinty has actively engaged in every relevant political debate and forum possible to bring compensation packages to disrupted constituents. Inspired by his US trip on nuclear decommissions, Cllr McGinty quickly learned to lobby key Ministers, making a case for the quality of life, environmental and psychological wellbeing of nuclear communities. His campaign also targeted a broader audience of backbench MPs, parliamentary committees, local and national media, think tanks and Shadow Ministers to create advocates for the campaign.
The Councillor’s hard work paid of when on 17 July, the Department of Energy and Climate Change announced that it will introduce community benefit for new nuclear communities. This means that local communities will now receive £1,000 per Megawatt of power per annum produced by Hinkley Point C for the entire operation of the plant. With an expected lifespan of 40 years, this could amount to £128 million for local residents.
What Sedgemoor has fought for and won sets a precedent for other nuclear communities in the UK. It puts low carbon technologies such as nuclear closer to parity with the incentives already in place for onshore wind and shale gas. More broadly the announcement represents a fair mechanism to reach settlements for communities which may host other nationally important infrastructure projects in the future.
Talyn Rahman-Figueroa, Director of Grassroot Diplomat, said: “The award illustrates that we do have government representatives that actively work on the meeting the people’s needs and we must focus on bringing more positive role models into society and diminish negative news - that is the grassroot diplomacy way”.
Join Cllr Duncan McGinty and other government nominees at The Mayfair Hotel, London on Thursday 15th May 2014 where the awards ceremony will be hosted by TV Psychologist Dr Linda Papadopoulos. For ticket information please visit: www.grassrootdiplomat.org/awards.