The local reaction to the handling of Dalgety Bay’s radiation issue is that the government are “fiddling while Rome burns”.
Last week, s1dalgetybay reported that new discoveries had been made beyond the cordoned-off area, meaning that the part of the beach being monitored might have to be extended. We have since spoken to Dalgety Bay Sailing Club about their reaction to the news.
Donald Adrain, Commodore at Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, told s1dalgetybay that despite the club working hand in hand with SEPA and, to an extent, the MOD /DIO over the last 10 years, they are no nearer a solution.
He said: “The MOD/DIO have now employed a sub contractor to carry out more ongoing investigative works on their behalf, albeit investigatory works on our site have been ongoing, by SEPA and others, for 10 years.
“We are currently awaiting the final formal plan of intrusive investigatory site works and we, working with SEPA, AMEC and MOD/DIO, are ensuring it ties in with our sailing calendar to minimise impact on the club.
“To date we have introduced a more rigorous method of access and egress to the water, to ensure any risk of personal contamination is minimised, but eagerly look forward to a resolution carried out and funded by a government body.
"We only want them to return our land to a fit and proper state, as we thought we had bought for one penny from the developers, to allow us to effectively carry on our youth and adult training, racing and keel-boating without the current blight hanging over the club.”
Donald said that whilst the club is a member of the formal Dalgety Bay Forum, which meets regularly with all affected parties and government departments, as the landowners they have been left to carry the burden of the troubles and responsibility associated with contamination.
As a result, he added, they are obliged to act in a controlled and prudent manner to ensure they discharge themselves of all duties, both to club members and with respect to legislation.
Unfortunately, that is proving to be difficult, extremely time consuming and costly as the club needs to take formal advice to allow them to comply with the legislation and ensure they are acting correctly with regards members and environmental legislation.
Donald explained that the club has a sub group, made up of key members, who have “spent far too many days of their own unpaid time engaged in this subject, assisting the various paid professional and full-time departments.”
Yet the club is still having to foot the bill for advice to ensure they are fully compliant and not exposing either the club or its members to any risks either from the radium or its regulatory status associated with the works or hazard from the material itself.
Donald added: “Ideally this role would be carried out, or at the very least funded, by one of the aforementioned government based departments.
"However this appears not to be forthcoming and as such the amateur club, funded by subscription only, is left holding the baby, albeit it's an ugly and unpleasant baby that nobody wishes to hold.
“Again we struggle to understand the issue around this; all of those involved work for, or are funded by, the government but little seems to happen with regard to a department taking responsibility for the contamination left on the MOD/Government once-owned site.
“I suspect we either have a naive appreciation of government-funded entities or nobody wants to own up, clean up or be seen to be taking responsibility. However time marches on , the club struggles and the MOD/SEPA/DIO/Council/HPA/Expert Group/Gordon Brown/Local Councillors all fiddle while Rome burns - the operative word being ‘fiddle’ and not act."
Donald said that the club, having taken ownership of their own situation, are eagerly awaiting confirmation that someone will assist and ultimately resolve the issue. However, he added that they will “definitely not be holding our breath".
He said: “With 10 years having passed by its fair to say our breath, and patience, is beginning to become exhausted and a number of us are distinctly blue in the face.
“The losers are everyone who pays tax to fund this exercise, anyone who wants to learn to sail, potential Olympic dinghy sailors, potential leisure sailors and Dalgety Bay as a community.”
What do you think about the authority's response to the radiation scenario in Dalgety Bay? Is enough being done? Share your views here on s1dalgetybay.