Thursday, 30 March 2017

Green Activist Mick Coat's Statement

 on the Rochdale Turner Brothers Asbestos Site:

I must apologise for my unavoidable absence; accordingly I have submitted this written report with regard to matters surrounding the TBA site and my concerns.  Clearly there are a number of issues that should be in the public domain.
Afterall it is us who are most affected by the problems of this highly contaminated site.

This is the question I put to Rochdale Township regarding the TBA site.
'Has the site survey on contamination been completed?  Are there any preliminary results and will these be shared with RMBC councillors and council officers?  Will these be shared with the Save Spodden Valley group?  What action do the owners intend to take to remove the illegally dumped rubbish on their site? What progress has been made in terms of prosecution by the Environment Agency?  What action has the council taken to address the public health threat posed by this rubbish to the residents of Rochdale?'
I recieved the following replies.
First, the survey has been completed this month.  Originally we were told it would be completed in 3 weeks in October.  However it took 4 to 5 months.

Secondly, I asked if preliminary results would be shared with councillors, council officers or experts from Save Spodden Valley?  The response was that the report would eventually be published at a later date. Presumably the answer to my question was 'no'.

Thirdly I asked about all the rubbish that had been dumped on the site by the lorry load.  No information was forthcoming about a prosecution by the Environment Agency, the response being that this was in the hands of the Environment Agency.
No comment was made with regard to the council's duty to protect public health.

I prefaced my question by saying that in the light of the council's wish to see 250 houses on site (Stragetic Housing Land Availability Assessment 2016) the problems of the site should be dealt with in a transparent and open way.
In addition I offered to take councillors and council officers round the site to show them my concerns. This was met with a stoney silence from the councillors.  Clearly not interested.

Subsequently Cllr Biant has ascerted that the rubbish is 'mainly inert'.
What does she mean by 'inert' – not dangerous, not disease ridden, not contaminated?  What tests have been done?  As this is private land what tests have the site owners undertaken, or have the council undertaken tests on behalf of the owners?  Can we have access to the results of these tests?
And most alarmingly,  MAINLY inert. I really do not think that mainly is good enough. Just a few germs, a little bit of asbestos?   Not good enough.

It seems that the phrase 'mainly inert' is more appropriately applied to councillors, not the rubbish on site.

Mick Coats
Rooley Moor Road

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