Green MSP for the West of Scotland, Ross Greer, has slammed Renfrewshire Council after it was revealed by the Green MSPs that the council has conducted no specific risk assessment on nuclear transport convoys, and as such, there has been no change to policy or procedures.
A new report using data gathered by the Scottish Green MSPs says that local councils and the Scottish Government are failing in their duties to protect the public from the risk of accidents involving convoys of nuclear weapons.
High explosives and nuclear warheads are regularly transported to the Royal Navy armaments depot at Coulport in Argyll & Bute, with lorry convoys passing through Glasgow, Renfrewshire, West Dunbartonshire, Stirling, Falkirk, Edinburgh, East & West Lothian, Midlothian, Scottish Borders, North & South Lanarkshire and Dumfries & Galloway.
A new report by Nukewatch UK, a group that monitors nuclear weapons movements, highlights Freedom of Information requests from the Greens which reveal that none of these local authorities has conducted risk assessments in relation to the convoys and none has taken any proactive steps to inform the public about the risks or explain how the council would respond to an incident.
By contrast, the emergency plan relating to the Clyde naval and armament bases requires local residents to be informed every three years about how they should respond to an emergency.
Ross Greer, Green MSP for West Scotland said: “It will surprise and shock many residents in Renfrewshire to learn that nuclear weapons loaded onto lorries routinely pass by houses and schools in our communities on their way to the navy depot at Coulport. Regardless of their opinions on these weapons, what everyone will find disturbing is that Renfrewshire Council have not assessed the risk the convoys pose. This is despite councils being Category One Responders and expected to be among the first to deal with any incident.
“Renfrewshire Council’s failure to conduct specific risk assessment on the transportation of nuclear weapons is concerning. It means that they have not made any changes to policies or procedures for responding to a major incident. Given that the UK’s nuclear arsenal is stored here, this lack of preparation isn’t acceptable.
“Until we can rid Scotland of these weapons of mass destruction, we must at least be open about the risks to our communities. The Scottish Government, which is responsible for community safety and emergency planning, must urgently lead a review of the situation and make its findings public.”