The Board

Cumbria Trust

Eddie Martin (Crosby)

Eddie Martin newEddie has been involved in local government for the past 26 years but retired in 2013.  He was elected the Leader of Cumbria County Council and Chairman of the Cumbria Leaders’ Board.  Before coming to Cumbria he was the Leader of the smallest English Authority – Rutland, which gained unitary status under his leadership. He strongly advocates unitary authorities in Cumbria to avoid confusion but particularly to reduce the costs of local government.   “The government has consistently failed to demonstrate that Cumbria is the best and SAFEST place to build a GDF… and that successive governments have short-changed Cumbria, particularly West Cumbria, in looking after much of the country’s nuclear waste.”

Colin Wales (Sedbergh)

Colin WalesColin was instrumental in organising the geology presentations given by Emeritus Professor David Smythe and Professor Stuart Haszeldine in West Cumbria in 2012. He has followed the politics of Radioactive Waste management from the 80’s, contributed to the NIREX debate in the 90’s and contributes regularly to the current debate though letters to Cumbrian Newspapers.   “Nuclear Power has its place within a low carbon generation mix but much more investment is needed for Sellafield to reduce risk. Government must recognise through community funding, that West Cumbria shoulders that risk and provides a valuable service to the nation.”

Geoff Betsworth (Silloth-on-Solway)

Geoff B 2In 2012, Geoff  was one of the founder members of SPAND (Solway Plain Against Nuclear Dump) and acted as spokesperson as well as handling the campaign press and PR. “This was not about party politics; it was about Jamie Reed, the Labour MP for Sellafield, working with Conservative Baroness Verma and Liberal Democrat Ed Davey seemingly to prevent the Cumbrian people from exercising their democratic right to prevent a GDF from being imposed on their county.”

Rod Donington-Smith (Keswick)


Rod’s interest in policies for dealing with nuclear waste started in 2012. The more he investigated the implications of the MRWS process with its proposal to site a GDF in West Cumbria the more concerned he became. Firstly there were the serious potential safety implications associated with the area’s already known geology and secondly there was the hold that the nuclear industry held over the local economy and a population dependent upon it for employment. With Government finance there were no restrictions on their advertising and offers (bribes) to promote their cause to move onto stage 4 of the process.

Future generations will not thank us, if we allow a GDF to be constructed in an unsuitable location, as they will be the ones to suffer the consequences.”

Dr Kate Willshaw (Kendal)

WillshawDr Kate Willshaw has been a consultee on major infrastructure developments within Cumbria since 2003 whilst working for Cumbria Wildlife Trust, Natural England and currently with Friends of the Lake District.  These include National Grid’s North West Coast Connections, NuGen’s Moorside project and the MRWS process until 2012.
Kate has also been involved in Government policy-making, including National Policy Statements (particularly for electricity transmission and nuclear development) along with consultations on transport infrastructure and landscape and environmental issues.

“Safe containment of radioactive waste for hundreds of thousands of years is essential to ensure that current generations do not adversely impact on future generations by inadvertently contaminating their environment.  I believe that in order to be fair to future generations, any community that puts itself forward for a GDF must  be in an area with geology capable of containing radioactivity for many hundreds of thousands of years.”

Updated 26/03/2019