A FIFE politician has condemned continued silence and ongoing delays to the clean-up of radiation contamination on the Dalgety Bay shoreline.

Neale Hanvey MP, whose Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath constituency includes the West Fife town, has pressed for a meeting with Ministry of Defence (MoD) officials.

The government department admitted responsibility for the radioactive pollution in 2014 but plans to solve the issue have been delayed frequently.

A contract for the £10.5 scheme was awarded to Balfour Beatty in 2020 but decontamination work didn't get under way until May 2021 and did not progress "as quickly as anticipated".

Due to birds coming to the shore for winter, the project can only proceed between April and September and was due to be completed in 2022, though a new target date of June 2023 was set late last year.

Warning signs will remain in place at the foreshore until the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is satisfied that the clean-up has been successful.

Mr Hanvey said: "I have raised the long-standing issue of radioactive waste on the Dalgety Bay shoreline time and time again.

"At Defence Questions (November 7, 2022) I pressed Alex Chalk, MoD Minister, for an urgent update and he promised to meet with me to discuss the ongoing concerns of the local community.

"To date this meeting has not taken place and I have again written to the Minister to push for this.

"The Ministry of Defence have repeatedly promised the folk of Dalgety Bay that remediation will be completed, but have so far failed to meet any of their own deadlines."

He continued: "Despite several assurances given by the MoD to complete the clean up by September of 2022, I am disappointed that this has already been pushed back for a full year.

"It is essential that they provide reasons for this delay and concrete assurances that 2023 will finally see an end to this saga.

"The MoD have had almost eight decades to clean up their mess and my constituents should not have to suffer any longer from their continued procrastination."

During the meeting referenced, Mr Chalk said he would be "very happy to liaise" with the ALBA party representative.

Remediation includes excavating areas of the foreshore, replacing rock armour around the headland and installing a new slipway for Dalgety Bay Sailing Club – stopping erosion and preventing public access to any remaining contamination.

Radioactive material was first detected on the beach at Dalgety Bay in 1990 and came from Second World War planes which had aircraft dials coated in a luminous paint containing radium-226 to help pilots see in the dark.

The dangers of radiation poisoning weren’t known at the time and, after the war, the planes were broken up and burned at Donibristle airbase, with the resultant ash and clinker dumped along the foreshore.

More than 3,000 radioactive particles – some giving very high readings – have been found at the beach, in nearby gardens and next to Dalgety Bay Sailing Club, and restrictions were put in place in 2011, with parts of the beach fenced off and fishing banned.

A Ministry of Defence spokesperson said: "We remain committed to delivering the planned remediation to Dalgety Bay and have worked continually with our partners to facilitate this work."