Elections 2019

This page features statements by the candidates for Suffolk Coastal Constituency on Sizewell C. They are listed in ballot paper order.

COFFEY Thérèse (Conservative):

Andrea Leadsom understands the concerns I have on how these [energy] projects are being proposed to be implemented, even though she knows I support renewables and zero carbon nuclear energy – which both need to become well established as the major source of energy to tackle climate change.

I have met both Natural England and Environment Agency specifically about Sizewell C. Informed by that discussion, I still think the jury is out on whether the environment questions can be sufficiently answered by EDF prior to their application. I strongly oppose the road-led strategy and strongly support the rail-led strategy. The impact on the local community and environment must be addressed. Extracted at her request from letter to constituents dated 6/11/19, which included onshore infrastructure for offshore power. Read https://www.theresecoffey.co.uk/sites/www.theresecoffey.co.uk/files/2019-11/EnergyletterNovember2019.pdf.

Contact Suffolk Coastal Conservatives: https://www.suffolkcoastalconservatives.org.uk/contact

Postscript from TEAGS. The Conservative Party’s manifesto on new nuclear says: “We will support gas for hydrogen production and nuclear energy, including fusion, as important parts of the energy system, alongside increasing our commitment to renewables.” TEAGS also notes (relevant for RAB) the following manifesto statement: “For many families, energy costs are a major source of financial pressure. We will keep our existing energy cap and introduce new measures to lower bills.” Read online at https://vote.conservatives.com/our-plan

EWART Jules (Liberal Democrats):

In short, we would try and block the development of Sizewell via any means possible. The Lib Dems have said categorically they will never back any future nuclear developments with public money, and we have pledged £10bn towards renewables (including the reintroduction of solar subsidies).

In opposing Sizewell we’d seek alternative opportunities for employment, graduate programs etc. that would suffer if Sizewell C was abandoned. Having said that, it doesn’t look like there are very many. Given our coastline, we should continue to develop wind power and become a centre of excellence for renewables that other places in the country would look to for expertise.

The Lib Dems have made a clear statement to shift the balance of power in planning policy. At the moment the government has far too much power to satisfy its green energy quotas with ill-conceived projects that pay lip service to local consultation.

Away from the headline figures in the Lib Dem manifesto, there is also a clear intent to empower non-governmental organisations to hold energy companies and the government to account. The local council has folded meekly with Sizewell and it frankly beggars belief that an AONB like Friston has to suffer a gigantic substation EIGHT MILES IN LAND because it was more convenient for the energy company! How can an energy company and a government ride roughshod over a community like this??? 

We will give the Environment Agency more powers, restore the Department for Climate change and we will support the introduction of a new Office of Environmental Protection. It isn’t only the Greens who are serious about the environment.

Contact Suffolk Coastal Lib Dems: https://eastsuffolk-libdems.org.uk/en/contact

Postscript from TEAGS. The Lib Dems’ manifesto does not mention nuclear energy: https://www.libdems.org.uk/plan. However, when asked by the BBC their position on the Wylfa B new nuclear project on Ynys Môn (Anglesey), a Welsh Lib Dem spokesperson said there was currently “no economic or environmental case” to build any new nuclear plants in the UK. See https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-2019-50559046

LOVE Tony (Independent Brexit):

We have asked Tony for his position on Sizewell C but not received any reply to date. We will update this page if that changes. Contact Tony Love: https://lovesuffolkcoastal.org/

Postscript from TEAGS: Although Tony Love is standing as an independent, he was originally selected as a candidate for the Brexit Party and we understand that he is campaigning on that platform. Please let us know if this is incorrect. The Brexit Party’s “contract” makes no mention of nuclear power. Read online here: https://www.thebrexitparty.org/contract/

MATTHEWS Cameron (Labour):

Sizewell C and the Friston substation are energy infrastructure projects which divide opinion across Suffolk Coastal. My position has been reached after extensive consultation with local communities, trade unions, and the Labour Party at national and constituency level.

Suffolk Coastal Labour does not support the concept of ‘The Energy Coast’. The branding itself puts at risk the visitor and tourist economy of East Suffolk which depends on The Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It conflicts with established identities such as ‘The Sunshine Coast’ and ‘The Heritage Coast’. The huge industrial projects proposed threaten the local economy and environment without bringing any benefits. Traffic congestion on the A12 and rural roads will discourage visitors and compromise the quality of life of local residents.

Labour remains committed to nuclear power needed for energy security. In Suffolk Coastal, Labour opposes the development of new nuclear capacity at Sizewell. The Sizewell C development cannot be undertaken without unacceptable impacts on the Suffolk Coast and Heaths Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. It will compromise the future of RSPB Minsmere, and, especially during the construction period, other Sites of Special Scientific Interest and the highly sensitive local environment. It will threaten jobs and prosperity in the visitor and tourist economy, the agricultural sector and food and drink industries. It offers very few new permanent jobs for local people. Current proposals to mitigate the worst effects of the construction project are grossly underfunded and will not relieve the impact of huge numbers of vehicle movements for goods and people on the A12 and surrounding rural roads. There are no proposals to invest adequately in rail alternatives.

Labour is firmly committed to the existing workforce at Sizewell and will work with trade unions to support energy workers through the transition to greener alternative energy jobs and guarantee retraining and a new, unionised job on equivalent terms and conditions.

Suffolk Coastal Labour is shocked by the decision of East Suffolk Council to approve the clearance of Coronation Wood and other enabling works for Sizewell C before a decision has been taken on the future of the project.

Read Cameron’s full statement on the energy projects for east Suffolk at https://www.suffolkcoastallabour.org.uk/general-election-2019/2019/11/27/cameron-matthews-my-views-on-energy-industry-projects-in-east-suffolk/. Contact Suffolk Coastal Labour Party: https://www.suffolkcoastallabour.org.uk/contact-suffolk-coastal-clp/

Postscript from TEAGS. The Labour Party’s manifesto on new nuclear says: “We will build….. New nuclear power needed for energy security” and “The Tories have let down the people of Ynys Môn by failing to deliver the Wylfa project. Labour will work with people on the island to maximise its potential for new nuclear energy, alongside investment in renewables.” Read online at https://labour.org.uk/manifesto

SMITH-LYTE Rachel (Green):

I find myself asking the question, when did our Heritage Coast become the energy coast?  The Green Party is the only party (apart from the SNP) officially against new nuclear because of safety (think Fukushima / Chernobyl / 3 mile Island etc)

and I’ve just learned, the County Council now has the responsibility for the emergency planning for Sizewell which frankly does not fill me with confidence (nor them I suspect).  We also object because of nuclear waste disposal and storage problems as well as potential links to nuclear weapons.

Personally it makes no sense to me why you would decimate part of our AONB, not to mention the CO2 emissions from the HGV movements to get it built, for a 10-15 year build by which time it will be too late to be of any use in the ‘fight’ against climate breakdown on a crumbling coastline with sea level rise, all to prop up the dilapidated EDF.  Oh yeah, and those high skilled well paid jobs promised? Turns out actually not so many to run a nuclear power station once built and mostly not local either as too specialised.

Contact Suffolk Coastal Green Party: https://suffolkcoastalgreenparty.org.uk/

Postscript from TEAGS. The Greens’ manifesto on new nuclear says: [We would] “prohibit the construction of nuclear power stations. We know that nuclear is a distraction from developing renewable energy, carries an unacceptable risk for the communities living close to nuclear energy facilities, creates unmanageable quantities of radioactive waste and is inextricably linked with the production of world-destroying nuclear weapons.” Read online at https://www.greenparty.org.uk/assets/files/Elections/Green%20Party%20Manifesto%202019.pdf

Want to know what the candidates think about the proposals for onshore infrastructure for offshore wind power? Our friends at SASES have created a similar webpage on these issues, see http://sases.org.uk/news/general-election-suffolk-coastal-candidates-energy-proposals