‘No show’ by MoD officials at radiation beach for more than two months

It has been revealed the Ministry of Defence has not visited the radioactive beach at Dalgety Bay for more than two months, despite the growing demand for action on the latest particle finds.

In Westminster, MP for the are, Gordon Brown, has sought answers from the Secretary of State for Defence, Philip Hammond.

In Parliament, Mr Brown asked on what date officials from the defence department most recently visited the site at Dalgety Bay, where radiation tests are still being carried out.

In response, Andrew Robathan, one of the MoD Ministers, said MoD officials most recently visited the Bay on 27 September 2011.

Mr Brown said; “I am disappointed with the response of the Ministry. Local people know that action is needed before the winter months.”

He continued: “The Ministry of Defence has a moral and, in my view, also a legal responsibility for the dumping of radioactive materials. They should be monitoring what is happening more carefully. They should now take the urgent action that is necessary to remove existing materials while we conduct an even more thorough search of the area in advance of remedial work being undertaken.

“I am so concerned about delays that I have asked for an urgent parliamentary debate on this matter so that the Ministry of Defence can be held to account. The finds in recent weeks of a significantly higher level of radiation means the time to act is now.”

He requested the parliamentary debate on Monday 21 November.

The Dalgety Bay Forum met in Stirling a day later to hear a report of radioactive materials at the Bay compiled by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency.

Local Conservative councillor for Dalgety Bay, Dave Dempsey, also criticsed the MoD.

He said: “We’ve watched and waited for ages for the MoD to do something. While the risk to the general public is very small, there’s a significant risk to those using the bit of beach in question and it’s high time this was sorted out. SEPA, who are investigating, have done a great job. They’ve been active, open and upfront. In marked contrast, the MoD, who caused the problem and whose job it is to fix it, have been next to invisible.

“I’d already contacted Ruth Davidson who I know has been in touch with Philip Hammond. I’ve now written directly to Mr Hammond asking him to make things happen and happen soon,” said Cllr Dempsey

Scotland’s environment minister Richard Lochhead said earlier: “It is deeply disappointing that that this situation has arisen as a result of inaction from the Ministry of Defence (MoD).”