The Community Representation Working Group (CRWG) has been convened to help develop practical processes for how community representation, the test of public support, and community investment will operate throughout the siting process for a geological disposal facility (GDF).
Following its commitment in chapter 7 of the Implementing Geological Disposal White Paper BEIS has engaged external support by convening a Community Representation Working Group (CRWG) to help develop practical processes for how community representation, the test of public support, and community investment will operate throughout the siting process for a geological disposal facility (GDF). The UK Government’s commitment in the White Paper included taking a consent based approach of working in partnership with communities that are willing to participate in the siting process.
The primary objective of the CRWG was to develop practical advice, through a focused work programme on the following issues:
- Community representation: Defining ‘communities’ in relation to GDF development, and defining effective processes for community representation, including how to involve different tiers of local government; defining roles and responsibilities for those community representatives, including governance and decision making processes; and how these will evolve over time.
- Test of public support: Providing clarity around the point at which a local test of public support would be considered appropriate, and the method(s) by which such a test could be carried out.
- Community investment: Developing options for disbursement of community investment, including when payments should be made, management of the investment, criteria for assessment of any funding applications and the ability of communities to influence investment within their geographic areas.
The work programme is underpinned by an evidence base, developed through wider engagement with experts, stakeholders and interested groups.
CRWG met for a final time in April 2016 and their advice has been used to develop the policy proposals for the working with communities.
The CRWG, chaired by BEIS, had a core membership of other relevant government departments and the GDF developer (RWM), supplemented with voluntary representatives with skills and expertise in local government issues, the delivery of large infrastructure projects, and academia, relevant to helping UK government develop processes for working with communities. The CRWG is not intended to be representative of a particular constituency or special interests, and will draw on the views of interested stakeholders through wider engagement.
A call for evidence was conducted to draw together evidence and information on processes for working with communities in the siting of a geological disposal facility (GDF). This consultation ran from 1 July to 4 September 2015. A summary of the responses to the consultation has been published. These are being used to develop the policy.