Nurseries or nuclear weapons, claim CND

Reporter: Marina Berry
Date published: 16 September 2009

REPLACING the Trident weapons system would cost Oldham taxpayers a staggering £183 million, according to anti-nuclear campaigners.

Saddleworth Peace Movement heard from Rae Street, chairman of Greater Manchester Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND), that the overall cost to Greater Manchester would be £2.458 billion.

The event, on Monday at Saddleworth Civic Hall, heard the national cost of replacing Trident would stand at £76 billion.

Ms Street told the meeting that in the present economic climate, in which local councils were having to make budget cuts of up to 10 per cent, spending that kind of money did not make sense.

She labelled as “obscene” the thought of throwing £76 billion of public money on a “grotesque white elephant,” and said it was a case of nurseries or nuclear weapons.

Rae added that not only was the system ultimately controlled by the US military and only “on licence” to Britain, but claimed it did nothing to combat the threat of terrorism.

The meeting, of more than 30 people, was the largest held by the Peace Movement for some time.

Chairman for the night, Saddleworth parish councillor Ken Hulme, said: “We will be campaigning against a Trident replacement all the way up to the next general election and beyond.

“We have seen the Government postpone a decision to move ahead on replacement for Trident from October to next March, so we have even more time to build up a head of steam behind this campaign.”

Councillor Hulme added: “The peace movement is very much alive and kicking in Saddleworth and we are determined to do our bit to kick the Trident replacement into touch.

“We just can’t afford to squander public money on this scale.”

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