It was a short meeting last night – only lasted 45 minutes. There were 26 Conservatives sitting in the the main part of the council chamber , and only two of them spoke – Terry Cutmore and Jeremy Thomass.
The council agreed to push through with a “stronger leadership’ model for the council, which means that the council leader is appointed for 4 years and he picks his own cabinet. This was opposed by Chris and Ron, but we lost the vote.
Meanwhile Chris also got answers from Terry Cutmore re the West Rayleigh Sewage Works:
Transportation of Human Digested Sludge on uncovered road vehicles
1. Does the Leader of the Council share my anger on hearing complaints that human sewage cake is still sometimes being transferred to the West Rayleigh Sewage works in uncovered vehicles?
?I am very concerned that this practice has been allowed to continue and consider it totally unacceptable that the lorries are not covered. I have previously asked officers to review all available options.?
2. What is the current situation regarding stopping this from happening any more?
?Officers have contacted the Environment Agency, who have recently confirmed that the material concerned is classified as waste. Under these circumstances both Anglian Water and any road hauliers have a statutory Duty of Care under the Environmental Protection Act relating to the handling of this material.
This requires that all reasonable measures are adopted, to prevent any environmental pollution or harm to health. Anglian Water?s Biosolids Operational Manager (Southeast) attended a meeting with the Agency on Friday 18 April, when this and other issues were discussed. The Agency has confirmed that a specific requirement has been imposed to securely sheet any load, they have also advised that this issue will be followed up as necessary.
Anglian Water was prohibited from importing untreated sewage sludge to these works by the Council, following the service of an Abatement Notice that took effect on 29 February 2008.
Throughout this period, our officers have also been in contact with Anglian Water to ensure that they are aware of the complaints from residents. The Biosolids Operational Manager has offered to attend a meeting with local residents and officers, and this is being arranged.?
3. Could Rochford DC introduce bye-laws to prohibit this?
?Generally, the Council has only a marginal role with regard to transportation of materials by road. I am advised that there are some antiquated Byelaws relating to this activity under the Public Health Act 1936. However, the procedure for introducing these is very laborious and requires the consent of the Secretary of State, furthermore the penalties are insignificant.
Officers have taken initial advice from the Department of Communities and Local Government, who advise that they would not support the introduction of local Byelaws for this issue. The reasons given were that the activity concerned is not restricted to one Local Authority area and that any Byelaw would duplicate many of the requirements of primary legislation.
The penalties under the Environmental Protection Act are up to ?5000 on summary conviction or unlimited on indictment. This is, therefore, considered to be the most appropriate remedy.?
4. What are the names and office addresses of the individuals at Anglian Water who are permitting this to happen?
?Biosolids Operational Manager South/East,
Anglian Water Services Ltd.,
Kirby Dedon Road,
Norwich. NR14 8TZ
I believe that this issue can now be drawn to a satisfactory conclusion and I am confident that appropriate action will be taken by our officers and the Environment Agency should Anglian Water not fulfil its legal obligations.?
Wasnt this also Terry Cutmore’s last council meeting as a member of the authority before he is booted out next week by the electorate?
I am sorry but that response was totally unacceptable. These contractors committed an offence, it does not matter when, they have committed an offence by moving that waste in uncovered trucks. Why are we giving them a chance NOT TO DO IT AGAIN. They knowingly moved that waste in uncovered vehicles and should be punished now for doing it. And making that youngster sick. This will be brushed under the carpet again until another contractor tries it on again. I say fine Anglian Water now for a breach of health by one of their contractors. The Council may not have too much power over this but surely when this was first reported they should have been doing all they could to resolve the matter
It has taken a year to get this far, residents have had to put up with so much disruption . Terry Cutmore said in his reply to Chris,s question that importation of raw sewage was stopped from 29th. of february . Now if only this was so ,what I think he should have said was that for the specific process of Biosolids it wouild be stopped . In reallity we have as many tankers of raw sewage as before which are treated conventionally through the main works .The site still “hums “especially when approached from the east along watery lane.
The state of beeches road to the entrance of the works is deplorable the sides of the road are breaking away and verges cut up with interruption of drainage so causing the road to deteriate further. This is caused by the large numbers of artic tankers which access the site taking avoiding action from oncoming vehicles .Every so often the road is closed for repair and maintenance all at our expense as ratepayers those responsible contribute little to the cost or inconvenience to residents of the surrounding villages which rely on that route to avoid the unplanned chaos in rawreth lane.
I think on balance anglia water should be brought to book over the continual unsheeting as it was stated to me and some of my councillors over a year ago that the lorries will be sheeted .The company is not as I understand it a public quoted company but privately owned through an equity fund . Its accountability is not transparent and there seems little control from the EA or any one else.
If the company is owned by a Private Equity Fund then this should be reasonably easy to identify. If it is a fund as you say, the people who have invested in this fund will not be happy if they see their investment has an unethical edge to it. If this information can get into the media and they take it up, the Private Equity partnership or the Fund board may take a very dim view as to how the company owned by the fund is running the business. This could lead to invested money being taken out of the fund, as has been the case with Property Funds. This can only happen if the media are involved and start reporting what has been going on. Anyone in the know should think about letting the national papers into this, they may love it especially as it has public health issues.
Anglian Water Group have a Director of Comms & Corporate Responsibility, Trish Brocklebank and a Director of Regulation, Jean Spencer. Registered Address Anglian Water Services Limited, Anglian House, Ambury Road, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire,PE29 3NZ. If all else fails or the uncovered trucks start again it may be worth writing to the above. I think the Private Equity Company who owned/owns Anglian Water is 3i and Partners. I will confirm details.
thanks Mike will take note of details think you are right about 3i something in the back of my head.
If it does not improve going straight to the fund board and making what is happening public will soon put it right. Private Equity has plenty of bad publicity (as well as good publicity) and to keep investment in the fund that contains Anglian Water will be important to the board.
“Satisfactory conclusion??????” For whom???? Not for the residents here. 11.15 am Tuesday one has just gone by. Disgusting. I can still ‘taste’ this sxxt. Yesterday, Bank Holiday, we have no rest from it, they are still coming by. My satisfactory conclusion would be to dump some of this ‘Human Digested Sludge’ (I just LOVE that description) on the doorsteps of those people who will do nothing but let Anglian Water get away with it.