Passing the buck: Vaughan Gething – Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth now seeks to divert blame for public concern over the ‘nuclear mud’ dumping scandal from the Welsh Labour Government to the Welsh Government’s own environmental watchdog  Natural Resources Wales

Vaughan Gething, Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth, has now publicly admitted for the first time that there are what he calls  “concerns” over the dumping of Hinkley Point ‘nuclear mud’ off Penarth  – and about the way in which testing on the mud has been carried out.

Gething, however, sticks rigidly to Labour Party/Welsh Labour Government line and claims that the evidence and testing shows the mud (or what he calls “the sediment”) “poses no radiological risk to people or the marine environment.”

Environmental demonstrators outside the National Assembly have made no bones about blaming Vaughan Gething and his Welsh Government colleagues for the ‘nuclear mud’ scandal – and find his limp excuses less than convincing.

It’s the first time that Gething  – who has been nicknamed “Geiger Gething”  and “Toxic Gething by the anti-mud-dumping campaign  – has commented publicly on the controversial issue .

However Gething now appears to want to divert blame from the Welsh Labour Government and directs it instead to the Labour Government’s  own”regulator” – Natural Resources Wales (NRW) which he says is the “licensing authority” .

Labour Minister Alun Davies

Lesley Griffiths – Labour’s Environment Minister

Anti-mud campaigners claim it was in fact Welsh Labour Government Minister Alun Davies who told the NRW that it would not be necessary to have an Environmental Impact Assessment carried out . An Environmental Impact Assessment is a legal requirement for dumping material at sea .It was Welsh Labour Government “environment minister” Lesley Griffiths who approved the issue of a dumping licence to EDF].

At 06:00 this morning the mud ship Pagadder had dumped 2,000 tons of mud off Penarth and was heading to Barry to refuel

Gething, who faces a Welsh Labour leadership election next month, can’t afford to tread on any Labour Party toes or say anything which is going to further implicate the Welsh Labour Government in the scandal . Sources in Cardiff Bay say it’s Natural Resources Wales which is being set up as the whipping boy.

Gething claims to have “written a number of times” to Natural Resources Wales on this issue – but exactly HOW MANY times he has written, he does not say. Only ONE of his letters has been placed in the public domain – and it was only written yesterday -Tuesday October 9th . (see below).

Vaughan Gething’s badly-written,  ungrammatical and wrongly-punctuated missive – as sent only yesterday to Natural Resources Wales.

In diverting blame from the Welsh Labour Government he castigates Natural Resources Wales  and criticises that organisation for what he calls  “the lack of public commentary” . [ Natural Resources Wales on the other hand were referring all enquiries on the mud dumping issue to the Welsh Labour Government]

Gething says he has asked Natural Resources Wales to “provide a response” before tonight’s  debate in the Welsh Assembly.

Gething’s statement raises a number of points:-

  1.  As the AM for Cardiff South and Penarth – the constituency directly affected by the mud dumping – just what took him so long to act on public concerns?.
  2. Constituents will also want to know why Gething has avoided looking into the adequacy or otherwise of radioactive testing of the Hinkley Point mud.
  3.  Gething fails to explain why the Welsh Labour Government – of which he is a member and putative First Minister –  broke the law and allowed the mud dumping to go ahead without an Environmental Impact Assessment being carried out beforehand.
  4. Gething also does not say why it’s a good idea to dump 320,000 tons of somebody else’s mud – whether radioactive or not – just over a mile off shore from his own constituency – Cardiff South and Penarth.

The green North Cardiff Buoy marks the nearest part of the dumping grounds to Penarth. What now lurks beneath the surface of the sea is anyone’s guess.

A demonstration is due to take place outside the Welsh Assembly in Cardiff Bay at 16:30 today to coincide with the debate which will be going on inside the Assembly at the same time.

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  1. Lesley says:

    Guessing there will be a lot of people at the protest tonight from this website. Still plenty of time though to come up with an excuse as to why you couldn’t attend

    • Pip says:

      When and where?

    • Christopher David says:

      Yup we’re all looking forward to meeting you. So c’mon anonymous coward. What’s your name and how will we recognise you to say hello?

    • Bobby says:

      Lesley, I completely agree with you, the mud hasn’t been proved to be anything but mud, documents and processes are just red tape, and laws are there to be bent when necessary. The fuss will all die down soon., and people will go back to moaning about roads, Europe and tax. As usual people won’t support anything put forward by Labour no matter how good it is for Wales.

      • Lesley says:

        Calm down Christopher. Watch your blood pressure xx

      • Pyrrhic Victory says:

        Poor, bitter, sneering Lesley, coming on here to goad and belittle others for being ‘keyboard warriors’ while failing to appreciate the irony of such words.

    • Scootergirl says:

      She’s like a stuck record – saying the same thing again & again & again. Give us a break!!!

    • Philip Rapier says:

      I will be voting and campaigning for Mark Drakeford to be the next First Minister of Wales.
      Pro Corbyn for sure but purely because of a belief in a modernised democratically accountable Welsh Labour Party.
      Unlike the rest of the present Machiavellian Cabinet…

  2. Clive says:

    Leading from the back or is it the pack?

  3. Christopher David says:

    What a ……..glowing… example for a future Labour dictator leader in Wales. Well mud sticks Geiger. The Labour government in Wales is blatantly breaking the law. No-ones been arrested. The dumping goes on. How can anyone have respect for the law when a situation like this prevails.

  4. Lesley Monger says:

    Trying to ‘cover your back’ springs to mind! And all the while whilst these imbeciles blame one another the dumping continues.
    It’s a public disgrace

    • Pip says:

      Exactly what I was thinking. Geiger’s getting his excuses in now which makes me think that they know this whole sorry mess has been dealt with inappropriately.

  5. Taxpayer says:

    Get rid of him he is idiot.

    • John says:

      I had the misfortune of being at A&E recently. The staff are completely under-resourced and the waiting area is like something from the Russian front. Geiger has overseen this mess and failure should not be rewarded. Please can we have some competent people represent the people of Wales who aren’t simply wannabe career politicians.

  6. Max Wallis says:

    not quite accurate that “Environmental Impact Assessment is a legal requirement for dumping material at sea”, but it is a requirement for dumping in a marine conservation area, including the Severn Estuary SAC.
    shipping lane dredgings have been dumped at the Cardiff Grounds for years. They might well pass an EIA. Regulations passed in 2017 prescribed a review of existing consents as soon as possible – a “review over continued use of the Cardiff Grounds” was underway in 2009, but NRW apparently discontinued it.
    CCW (as the regulator was then) said Cardiff Harbour Authority was “to seek alternative beneficial use of dredged materials” rather than dumping. So who was responsible for NRW dropping all previous CCW work on a review and so readily accepting Hinkley’s contaminated material, including clays that are supposed under OSPAR rules to be separated and dumped on land?
    Was NRW ordered by Welsh Government to bend the rules.for EdF-Hinkley nuclear-build?

    • Penarthur says:

      Having had weeks to provide any evidence, hopefully you have will give up proclaiming that the mud is toxic radioactive waste now, and admit you were just scaremongering?

  7. Could do better says:

    “I wasn’t to be assured that the state of scientific evidence is leasing decision making”

    Wasn’t we all…

  8. jm says:

    Gosh he can speak! He still hasn’t replied to my letters about this scandal – so much for
    being a ‘constituency’ AM.

    Have to pity poor Geiger a bit – degree, lawyer, safe labour seat, major ministry … and then along comes Carwyn’s meltdown which ends in suicide of a colleagues, that colleagues’s kid in his tail (and taking his dad’s seat) and the final triumph? Covering the South Wales coast in slush from a nuclear reactor site. And then allowing the dumping to go in knowing that it is illegal. History will be err, well maybe not kind, to Carwyn Jones (who has even adopted his ridiculous Santa beard retirement disguise early!)

    Meanwhile heroic Geiger has to choose tonight – constituents and public safety first, or party and personal ambition.

  9. OB says:

    Typo, I suspect. Perhaps it should be “. . . that the state of scientific evidence is leading decision making.”

  10. Andrew Worsley says:

    Why is Barry Docks available to these ships for refuelling ? as far as I know Barry is a Welsh Dock and in this case should refuse its fuelling services to a ship/ ships that are trespassing in Wales International Territory against the wishes of the Welsh , more especially those in Penarth and Barry . You do not refuel the enemies ships when their is a battle going , even if its an environmental battle. Refuse to allow refuelling and these Foreign ships not make the job easier , let them sail back to England for fuel , don’t feed or assist the enemy!!

  11. Lesley Monger says:

    Yes but you forget money is God and I am convinced that is what it’s all about!

  12. Johnm says:

    They’ve voted 26 – 22 to continue the dumping, but with ‘more being done to reassure the public’.

    Historic failure of the Assembly. What next?

  13. Andrew Worsley says:

    I stick by my words above, what on earth are Barry Docks doing refuelling ships that are dumping dangerous waste on their doorstep, it beggars belief that any Welsh port or dock assists people from another country to endanger the health and environment of its people. Stop making it easy for these vandals of the environment , who do not care one jot .

  14. Clive says:

    I wonder if the assembly is charging EDF for the dumping of this mud of Penarth and Cardiff Bay or is that just stretching the imagination to far !!!

  15. Scootergirl says:

    Geiger Gethin is only doing it because he’s after votes to become First Minister
    He is hopeless as Health Secretary, so will be useless as First Minister. He can’t fool us by pretending to ‘care’ about the mud dumping, by blaming others. His previous silence speaks volumes.

    • JM says:

      So agree. If he even remotely cared about anything other than his own ‘career’ he’d have resigned to oppose this as a constituency AM. He was useless at health, and worse than useless in the constituency- why would anyone thing he could lead a nation?

    • Mark says:

      Has anyone asked him yet about the private company doing operations at the heath to help massage the waiting lists ahead of his campaign that has resulted in 400 patient recalls due to them doing an incompetent job? Going to hit the press soon I expect, timing is everything in an election campaign.

  16. Peter King says:

    How many people were at the demonstration?

  17. Andrew Worsley says:

    Stop the ability of the ships to refuel at Barry Dock that in itself is outrageous based on the activities they are involved in.

  18. Tog says:

    Reblogged this on sideshowtog.


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