The Bickerstaffe Record

April 07 Bickerstaffe Record (election supplement)

07.23.07 | Comment?


 Smoke fumes billow out across the fieldsof Simonswood on Sunday 22 April, the result of a serious fire at a scrap yard on Simonswood industrial estate, just yards from where hazardous chemicals are stored.  (Paul couldn’t get any closer at the time because he’d just got the children out of the bath when he was alerted.)


Life doesn’t stop for elections, however much many politicians would like it to.   

Sunday 22 April saw two local incidents (see page 4 also), neither of which caused injury to residents, but both of which could. 

On Simonswood Industrial Estate a serious fire started in a scrap yard close to a site where ammonium nitrate and other hazardous substances are stored.  Residents were advised to shut all windows and doors as the fumes billowed across the area. 

Ammonium nitrate is the substance that exploded in

Toulouse in September 2001, killing 33 people.  Coming just after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the explosion was overshadowed in the news. 

This makes the District Council’s decision to allow its storage (though not, we should stress, manufacture), so close to residents seem ’strange’, to say the least.

Great credit should go to local residents and to Simonswood Parish Council, for their swift reaction to events. 

Simonswood Parish Council issued a strongly worded letter to the District Council setting out how local concerns, including the poor water availability and low hydrant pressures for fire-fighters, have been ignored to date. The District Council has at last been stung into some form of response, even if it is only to say they will provide a ‘co-ordinated reply’. 

If Paul Cotterill is elected as local councillor on 03 May, he will take the safety concerns of Simonswood residents seriously.  He has already spoken with the Health and Safety Executive on this matter. 

He will, within 24 hours of election, seek an urgent meeting with Council leaders to discuss this and other Simonswood Industrial Estate issues. 


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