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Members present:

  • Jane Davidson (Chair)
  • Professor Roger Falconer
  • Dr Rhoda Ballinger
  • Dr Justin Gwynn
  • Dr Huw Brunt
  • Rachel Sharp

Apologies were received from Dr James Robinson

Also present from the Welsh Government:

  • Dan Butler, Special Adviser to the First Minister
  • John Howells, Tara Doster, Jonni Tomos (Secretariat)

The third meeting of the First Minister’s Hinkley Point C Stakeholder Reference Group was held on 21 September. The Group agreed the minutes from the previous meeting, held on 24 August. 

The Group discussed recent developments and members shared details of discussions they had held with industry experts since the last meeting.  The Group discussed a petition submitted to the Senedd seeking an Environmental Impact Assessment of proposals to deposit sediment in the Cardiff Grounds, and they also noted the recent decision by Natural Resources Wales to approve the sediment sampling plan submitted by the developer.

The Group heard from three representatives of the Geiger Bay campaigning group, who attended part of the meeting.  They highlighted their concerns on a number of matters, including the precision of sediment sampling methods employed by the developer, the impact of Hinkley Point C on fish numbers in the Severn Estuary, and the role of statutory decision makers in the marine licensing process.  The Group requested further information from Geiger Bay with regard to their evidence, and resolved to maintain a dialogue with them.

The Group agreed that representatives of three key organisations - EDF, Natural Resources Wales and Cefas - should be invited to the next meeting to provide evidence in relation to their roles in the Hinkley development.  The Group also agreed further operational matters, agreed its responses to recent correspondence received and established a tracking table for its ongoing work and priorities. 

The Group agreed that a further priority should be to consider and discuss possible impacts on fish and on fishing in Welsh waters.  A Member volunteered to prepare a paper for the Group’s next meeting.  Members also agreed to seek legal clarification of powers held by the Welsh Ministers and any Welsh agencies.   These matters will be on the next meeting’s agenda along with a previously commissioned paper on the history and current status of the Cardiff Grounds.

The Group agreed that its next meeting should be on 19 October 2020, at 9.00am.