Amanda Milling, Member of Parliament for Cannock Chase, recently visited a site in Brereton which had housed 2,500 bales of illegally dumped waste to meet with the various agencies involved in the clean-up exercise.
Since the fire at Oak Tree Farm in Slitting Mill, Rugeley the Cannock Chase MP has been working with the Government and a wide range of organisations, including the Environment Agency and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service to understand what more can be done to tackle illegal waste dumping, which presents real risks to the public, not least given the fire hazards.
The Cannock Chase MP visited the site in Brereton where in 2013, in a matter of days, baled waste was illegally deposited without the warehouse owner’s knowledge. The Redbrook Lane site was holding so much plastic it was estimated to cost £400,000 to clear up the site. The problem was caused by waste gangs that traffic illegal waste, leaving potential fire hazards on local residents’ and businesses’ doorsteps.
The site has now been completely cleared following work by the Environment Agency, Cannock Chase District Council, Staffordshire County Council and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the new landowner. The Cannock Chase MP has been quick to praise agencies for working together to get the site cleared and prevent any other potential waste fires from happening again.
Amanda Milling MP said: “The fire a couple of years ago at Oak Tree Farm in Slitting Mill was a stark reminder of the risks associated with illegal waste. Since this fire I have been working hard with a variety of organisations such as Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service and the Environment Agency to really understand what more can be done to prevent illegal waste fires and what further powers are needed. I have raised this in the House of Commons on several occasions and had various meetings with Ministers over the last couple of years and I am pleased with some of the progress made.”
The Cannock Chase MP added: “I was very pleased to join representatives from the Environment Agency, Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, and the two local councils to talk about the measures that have been taken to clear the site in Brereton. This has taken an enormous amount of work and I would like to commend everyone involved. There is a lot to be learned from this case and I look forward to working with the various agencies as we continue to look at ways to fight against waste crime. For local residents and businesses, they no longer have the horrors of having this waste festering nearby as well as the fire risk that it presented.”
The Cannock Chase MP is encouraging the public to help tackle waste crime. If you suspect someone of disposing of waste illegally, or are aware of other illegal waste operations, call the Environment Agency incident hotline on 0800 70 60 50 or Crimestoppers anonymously on: 0800 555 111.