In Letters to the Press we highlight the work done by local members and activists who contact the local media and help shape discussions in our city. This letter address fumes from a factory in Aylestone Park which is impacting the lives of local residents.
I would like to add my support to the residents around Aylestone Park who are trying to get the city council to take action and resolve the issues regarding fumes from the local dye works.
This factory is in a residential area, and despite the council saying they have little power to resolve, the council have a statutory responsibility to investigate and powers to resolve this issue if they wanted to. They set strict planning conditions that they need to enforce.
The council’s own planning department set these conditions of use in 2015, with the document stating: “no …processes shall be undertaken which are detrimental to the amenity of the area by reason of noise, vibration, smell, fumes, smoke, Soot, ash, dust or grit.”
What’s the point of the council setting conditions if they’re not enforced? Why are the local councillors not insisting on action? Are different departments in the council communicating or still working in silos?
The system of logging complaints with the council itself seems cumbersome, confusing and time consuming, and I myself was on hold for over an hour trying to log a complaint .
Yet despite this, according to the council’s response to a Freedom of Information request, they’ve received many complaints, but most complainants were told to get back in touch when the odour ‘was occurring’ and to register a complaint with the Environment Agency, as they ‘regulate the process’. No one was told to contact the council’s own planning department to request enforcement action.
Local Greens have been going door-to-door in the affected area, and, overwhelmingly, people we spoke to have said there’s a problem. They’ve told us of overpowering smells of burning plastic, of being unable to sit in the garden, to open windows, to hang washing out, and their wish that filters were fitted to the factory chimney. I believe local councillors should be working with the factory and Environment Agency to resolve this issue, yet nothing has happened. Nearly every resident asked has signed a petition calling on the council to take action.
Why have the council kept telling local people that the responsibility for this lies with the Environment Agency (EA)? The Ward Counsellors, the council planning and pollution departments, the factory, and the EA need to work together with the community to resolve this issue. It’s the moral and right thing to do.
Have you sent any letters to the press on Green issues, or do you have an issue you would like the Leicester Green Party to know about? If so, please get in contact.