Anglian Water have until December 28 to legally challenge the abatement notice served on them by Central Bedfordshire Council. If they do not challenge the order, then they must take steps by March 31st to solve the problem that has been plaguing residents.
Representatives of the parish council and FPRA (Fairfield Park Residents Association) met with members of the council Environmental team and Ward Cllr Steve Dixon yesterday to receive an update and put to them the many concerns expressed by residents.
Why did it take so long for CBC to issue the order?
To take action, CBC needs to gather sufficient evidence to support an abatement notice, that would withstand a potential appeal. This is process is a mix of diary evidence and dialogue with involved parties, which inevitably takes some time.
How best can residents help from now on?
Completing the diary sheets is of paramount importance and these MUST be continued. If Anglian Water fail to comply with the order by March 31, CBC are then able to take enforcement action in court when they will need to call residents as witnesses.
Currently only a few residents have completed the diary sheets, some saying that manual completion was too time consuming in today’s busy working environment. CBC agreed to look at an online version. However, residents can scan in sheets and email them to CBC to this address: Pollution@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk. This can be done weekly or bi-weekly and, providing they include your address they do not need a CBC reference number, which will be added by them
About 100 residents have complained but the number of diary sheets received is a fraction of this number. SO IT IS VITAL THAT THE DIARY SHEETS CONTINUE TO BE COMPLETED
Children with breathing difficulties
It has been reported that one or two young children have been taken to A&E with breathing difficulties. If the parents of these children can supply medical evidence that this was either caused or aggravated by breathing in chemicals, this information will also help CBC.
Do we have to suffer this until April 1?
None of us want this subject to make April fools of us! Hopefully not. Our MP, Alistair Burt, and CBC are now working hard for a speedier resolution to the problem that has been endured for far too long. FPC have also invited Anglian Water to send a senior representative to address residents, listen to them and outline what they are doing to solve the issue. No response has yet been received.
What happens if the smell is experienced over the Christmas period?
CBC ward councillor Steve Dixon is happy for people to telephone him and he is setting up a contact with Anglian Water so that action can be quickly taken. His mobile number is 07973 127077. Alternatively you can text Steve directly to his mobile.
Please respect privacy and only contact Steve in extreme instances of stench. At all other times complaints should be referred to Debbie Gorry at CBC.
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