Agenda item

Questions Asked under Council Procedure Rule 8

A question has been received from the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Alan Cullens. 


A question has been received from the Leader of the Opposition, Councillor Alan Cullens, for the Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley.


Following the recent fire at the Clayton Hall Landfill site could the relevant portfolio holder please advise the meeting of the following:

1 What items, which are described as Commercial Waste, are currently being tipped?

Response: The Environment Agency (EA) regulate what can be accepted at the landfill site. This is set out in detail in the permit, which is publicly available here: Environment Permit for Clayton Hall Landfill Site  There are around 10 pages of defined items all of which are classed as non-hazardous.  A question will be requested of the the EA as part of their investigation to identify what has been tipped recently and any link to the fire and this information will be shared.


2 As a result of the fire was there any risk to residents of toxins within the smoke?

Response: The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) lead on this with the EA. The response as part of the incident was managed through an Air Quality Cell of suitably qualified people. Other members of the air quality cell were the Met Officer and other technical advisors. They initially categorised the incident as a level 2, which quickly reduced to a level 1, level 3 would mobilise air quality monitoring. Monitoring remained on standby in the event of changes.  Environmental factors were favourable which encouraged smoke plumes to disperse and the black smoke reduced quickly.


3 What is estimated to be the cost to Chorley Borough Council following actions that had to be undertaken and will efforts be made to recover these costs?

Response: As the site is regulated by the county council in terms of planning and the EA for its operation, the involvement of Chorley Council is limited to support provided as part of the emergency response through the Lancashire Resilience Forum. The support was requested through the LRF by Lancashire Fire and Rescue. Approximately three days of officer time had been spent on the incident, primarily from Environmental Health who attended the site and subsequent update meetings to provide support and advice to Lancashire Fire and Rescue. There would also have been some communications and other support staff time spent although this would be hard to identify from other day to day and other duties. The council was also asked to provide sandbags to protect the Fire Service’s equipment, at an estimated cost of £740. The council will work with partners to determine the best approach to recovering costs from the site operator. The costs to the council were estimated between £3 and £5 thousand pounds in total.


4 What mitigation or plans will the site owners be putting in place to ensure that there is no repeat incident?

Response: The EA have confirmed now the initial emergency response had reduced there would be a focus on an investigatory role and recovery phase to review and breaches of conditions and any actions/enforcement required. The EA will determine whether any additional controls should be required and lessons to be learned for the future.  The council would work with partners to ensure lessons were learned. 


The Executive Leader, Councillor Alistair Bradley, advised that the full response would be circulated to all members following the meeting. 


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