Christmas: A Good Time To Hide A Consultation

The Stage 2 Consultation for the proposed Sizewell C nuclear power station runs from 23 November 2016 until 3rd February 20171. As with the Stage 1 consultation this runs over the Christmas / New Year period. In affect this significantly cuts the consultation period due to the disruption caused by the extended holiday period.

The probability of the 72 day consultation period starting by chance before 25 December is 72/365 which is a about 20%. The probability of this happening twice by chance is 20% x 20% which is about 4%.

Well we could just be unlucky.

As indicated by my previous post I am currently looking at local water resources. Interestingly we also received an email from Northumbrian Water Group (NWG) on the 6th December about their consultation which ran from the 6th December 2016 until 6th January 20172. Again this runs over the holiday period.

Initially I searched for Essex and Suffolk Water which I now know is part of NWG. While I was looking I found another consultation, this time by Essex council which runs from 16th December 2016 until 31st January 2017.

It is impossible to draw any firm conclusions but this does make me suspicious that some consultations are being deliberately run over the Christmas holiday period.

Private Eye4 claim that the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy release 51 energy documents on Christmas Eve. Again this could just be a coincidence but it does make you wonder…


1 EDF Energy’s proposals for a new nuclear power station on the Suffolk coast, EDF (http://sizewell.edfenergyconsultation.info/szc-proposals/stage-2/)

2 Draft Assurance Plan Summary, Northumbrian Water Group (NWG), (http://communicatoremail.com/FS/1448/Documents/PC 0171 Assurance Plan Summary 2017-18 OR FINAL.pdf)

3 Primary School Places in Colcheste, Essex County Council, December 2016 (https://www.essex.gov.uk/Education-Schools/Schools/Delivering-Education-Essex/School-Organisation-Planning/Documents/Primary_places_in_Colchester_consultation.pdf)

4 Keeping The Lights On, Private Eye 1435.

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