Gordon Brown plea to MoD over Fife pollution

Brown will lead a Commons debate on the issue on Tuesday, during which he will call for MoD funding for a clean-up of the area. Picture: PA
Brown will lead a Commons debate on the issue on Tuesday, during which he will call for MoD funding for a clean-up of the area. Picture: PA
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FORMER prime minister Gordon Brown has called on the Ministry of Defence to release documents which he says will show it previously accepted blame for radioactive contamination of a beach in his constituency.

The MP has submitted freedom of information requests to the MoD asking to see internal government papers relating to Dalgety Bay in Fife.

Following an investigation, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said the MoD is responsible for the contamination in the area.

The UK Government department said it has concerns about the “adequacy and validity’’ of Sepa’s approach to its report. But it is now under pressure to clean up the site, which contains radioactive particles.

Sepa’s report said the MoD routinely incinerated and disposed of aircraft 
dials illuminated by paint containing radium-226 in the bay before the town was built.

Brown will lead a Commons debate on the issue on Tuesday, during which he will call for MoD funding for a clean-up of the area.

Government papers, including a 1990 memo to the former Scottish Office minister, Lord James Douglas Hamilton, will reveal the full extent of the pollution and that the MoD already acknowledged its responsibility for the contamination, he said.

Responding to Sepa’s findings, a spokesman said: “MoD will consider the report findings in detail and respond to Sepa in due course, but has concerns over the adequacy and validity of both Sepa’s risk assessment and its approach to the appropriate persons report.

“We will seek an early meeting with Sepa at senior official level to raise these concerns and discuss the way forward.

“MoD has demonstrated a serious commitment to voluntarily assisting Sepa, the Scottish Government and the Dalgety Bay Forum in dealing with the situation at Dalgety Bay.

‘’The department continues to work with Sepa.”