Index > 2 Development of a strategy, implementation and execution program to remediate radioactively contaminated sites >

2.3.7 The involvement of campaign and community groups

The participation of campaign groups may be important to an effective and credible programme for both practical and democratic reasons [CIRIA-2005]:

  • They can help develop the format of a stakeholder involvement programme on the basis of their experience, and provide feedback during it.
  • Some pressure groups can provide critical scrutiny of documentation and make a technical contribution to participatory decision making.
  • Consultation with pressure groups may give their supporters, who may include part of the people taking active interest in the project, an organised channel for expressing their views.
    *It is fair to assume that pressure groups represent their membership directly, but not the general public. However, they are one channel by which evidence of public opinion might be communicated.

Different groups may have different approaches, may make different judgements on the same information, and may have very different long-term agendas. As far as possible, consultations should be co-ordinated to keep the demands on participating stakeholders to a reasonable level.

Where subject matter and/or the documentation is complex, where there is only little authoritative third party analysis in the public domain, and where involvement of the community has a high priority, providing reasonable levels of financial or other support should be considered carefully. Local campaign or community groups in particular may need practical support, a contribution to expenses, and help in securing access to independent sources of information and advice.

Pressure groups have the right to choose whether to participate in a community involvement programme. If they do choose to participate, it will imply acceptance of certain responsibilities, e.g., to behave with integrity and separate protest from participation so far as practicable, and to recognise the difficulties inherent in any programme and help avoid problems rather than exploit them unfairly.