Meet the BANNG Core Group
Chair of BANNG
Short Curriculum Vitae of Emeritus Professor Andrew Blowers, BA (Hons.), MLitt., Hon. DLitt., OBE, FRSA,NG)
Prof. Blowers was a member of the Government Committees dealing with the management of radioactive waste: the Radioactive Waste Management Committee (RWMAC) and the first Committee on Radioactive Waste Management (CoRWM1). It was the recommendations made by CoRWM1 on the disposal of nuclear waste that were accepted by the Government in July, 2006. Prof. Blowers was responsible for writing substantial sections of the Final Report, including the Overview, as well as the Committee’s Report on Implementation. He drafted the policy on partnership and voluntarism now being followed by Government.
Among the 17 books Prof. Blowers has authored/edited are: The International Politics of Nuclear Waste; Nuclear Power In Crisis; and Planning for a Sustainable Environment.
He is currently writing a book on the impact of the nuclear industry on peripheral communities in the USA, France, Germany and the UK.
He has visited 40 nuclear sites throughout Europe and the United States and participated in a number of international research projects and commissions focusing on the social, ethical and political aspects of radioactive wastes.
Prof. Blowers was for some time the Government-appointed, non-executive Director of Nirex, the company formerly responsible for the management of the country’s radioactive waste. He has also given evidence and acted as Expert Advisor to the House of Commons Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee. He has also appeared before and given evidence to the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee.
Apart from chairing BANNG, Prof. Blowers is also currently Co-Chair (with the Head of the Office for Nuclear Development) of the Department of Energy and Climate Change/ NGO Nuclear Forum, which brings together Government and NGOs, both national and local.
From September, 2013 until the end of the consultation in February, 2014, Prof. Blowers was the NGO representative on the Government’s three-member Stakeholder Reference Group. This group oversaw the Government’s consultation on the siting process for a Geological Disposal Facility (GDF) to house the UK’s nuclear wastes.
Prof. Blowers has recently been appointed by the Government as a member of an independent Oversight Group, looking at public engagement in the development of new nuclear reactor designs.
He has also recently been appointed as a member of the Government’s Community Representation Working Group (CRWG) which has been set up to work out how to achieve democratic participation in the voluntary siting process for a deep disposal facility for the nation’s radioactive wastes. This appointment reflects his long experience in radioactive waste management policy as a member of RWMAC and CoRWM1 (please see above).
Prof. Blowers is also currently engaged in research on international developments in nuclear waste management.
Prof. Blowers was one of the ‘pioneer’ academics who helped to set up The Open University (OU) in 1970. He was Professor of Social Sciences (Planning) and during his 35 years at the OU held the positions of Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Pro-Vice Chancellor (Degree Studies). He chaired many courses, including Patterns of Inequality, Environment and Environmental Politics in an International Context. He also wrote about the Blackwater estuary and produced a DVD on the estuary for the Environment course.
For almost 30 years Prof. Blowers was a Councillor on Bedfordshire County Council, where he was for a time Chair of the Environment Committee and Leader of the Labour Group. It was during this time that he fronted the County Council’s successful fight against the Nirex proposal for a low-level radioactive waste dump at Elstow (just outside Bedford).
From 1992 until 1995, Prof. Blowers was Vice-Chairman of the Town and Country Planning Association.
In 2000, Prof. Blowers was awarded an OBE for Services to Environmental Protection. In 2004 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and that year was awarded an Hon. DLitt. by De Montfort University.
Prof. Blowers was born in Colchester and attended the Royal Grammar School before winning an Open Exhibition to study Geography at Durham University. His great-grandfather, Thomas Went, was an Alderman of the Borough of Colchester.
Vice-Chair: Barry Turner
Secretary & Media Relations Officer: Varrie Blowers
Treasurer: John Vince
Communications Officer : Nichola Cain
Other members of the BANNG Core Group:
Cllr. Peter Banks
Cllr. Sophie Weaver
How BANNG Is Structured
BANNG Supporters’ Group:
This comprises all BANNG supporters and is chaired by Andy Blowers.
Core Group (Executive):
The Core Group acts as the executive. The Group is chaired by Andy Blowers.
How BANNG Came About
On 11 March, 2008, there was a meeting in the MICA Centre of citizens concerned about the possibility of a new nuclear power station on the Bradwell site. The meeting was addressed by four experts: Professor Andy Blowers, (who arranged the meeting); Professor David Elliot (Head of the Energy and Environment Group at the Open University); Dr. Ian Fairlie (former Secretary of the Government’s Committee on Examining Radiation Risks of Internal Emitters – CERRIE); and Mr. Pete Wilkinson (member of the government’s first Committee on Radioactive Waste Management – CoRWM – and spokesperson for Nuclear Waste Advisory Associates – NWAA) . As a result of the meeting, many people attending indicated their concern at the possible building of a new power station and their wish to know more about the implications.
A further meeting was held at the MICA Centre on 3 April. At this meeting, a Core Group of volunteers who would act as an executive was agreed to take things forward. On 28 April, BANNG was launched at a meeting in the Church Hall of St. Peter’s and St. Paul’s. At the Launch Meeting, the name, structure, aims and strategy of the group were agreed as well as a suggested donation of £5 to help with the costs of running the campaign.