Last week I took the concerns of Barnsley residents to the top of Yorkshire Water. I travelled to Bradford to meet Chief Executive, Richard Flint, to raise the concerns of the long-suffering residents of Lang Avenue in Lundwood. This follows my recent visit to the company’s sewage treatment works, which are next to Lang Avenue.
Residents of Lang Avenue have long been complaining about ‘unacceptable’ levels of smells and flies coming from the Yorkshire Water treatment works. There are also concerns about the flooding which happened last year and the extent to which Yorkshire Water held any responsibility for preventing a re-occurrence.
The residents have had a lot to put up with – in terms of flies, flooding and odours. That’s why I felt it was essential for me to fully understand their situation – by visiting the sewage treatment works site myself; and then to take their concerns to the top of Yorkshire Water. I spelt out to Mr Flint just what a difficult time they have been having and we had a very productive meeting.
Mr Flint assured me that all odour control units are fully working at the site and are maintained on a regular basis. This maintenance will continue so that any operational issues that may occur to trigger odours are identified straight away.
Yorkshire Water have secured approximately £35,000 of capital funding to renew the netting on the fly beds to protect against flies. They will continue to monitor both the beds and the netting to ensure this is effective. The work to complete the renewal of the netting is expected to be complete in the next three months.
In relation to the flooding incident, I have been told that this was caused by a rise in river levels and heavy rainfall. It was the river beds that flooded, not the sewage pumping station which is located nearby. Due to this, Yorkshire Water will not carry out any work to remedy this issue as the river is the responsibility of the Environment Agency. However, I know that local councillors have been working with the both the Environment Agency and Barnsley Council to secure funding for flood prevention measures.
I will be writing directly to all residents in Lang Avenue to update them on this progress.