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Caithness News Bulletins May 2004

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Caithness Beaches

SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands has called for an end to nuclear discharges into the Sea to safeguard Scotland's beaches.

Leading the debate for the SNP in the debate on Thursday 6 May on beach quality Mr. Gibson said....

"My biggest concerns centre around the illegal and excessive disposal of waste at sea. Our beaches in Scotland receive more nuclear pollution from Sellafield than from all of Scotland's nuclear installations put together.

SNP leader John Swinney visited the Irish Environment minister in July 2003 to review the Irish Government's international court case aimed at closing Sellafield which is known to contribute 87% of the collective radiation dose to EC member states from its discharges."

He also urged the Scottish Executive to consider public ownership of beaches in Scotland to create a sense of pride....

"We all have to help Keep Scotland Beautiful to address why our beaches are twice as likely to be failing EU requirements despite many of them being less crowded than those further south. But who among the public here feels any personal responsibility for the care of our beaches? We need to transparency and local ownership and care for beaches if they are to be maintained and improved."

Rob Gibson's Amendment to the Executive's motion which "calls on the Executive to step up pressure against illegal disposal of waste at sea including discharges by the nuclear industry." was defeated by 62 votes to 54.