Tip fire investigation ‘has to put our residents first’

A DEAL should be reviewed after a tip fire in Thornhill Lees caused district-wide disruption.

That is the view of Green Party campaigner Simon Cope, who wants Kirklees Council to look at their contract with Suez Waste Management.

Mr Cope lives near the tip on Weaving Lane, which is now closed pending an investigation into the August 14 blaze.

Residents have to use household waste sites at Nab Lane, Birstall, and in Huddersfield until further notice.

Bin collections have also been disrupted, with householders asked for patience during delays.

A similar fire affected the same tip in December 2013, when a single-storey warehouse went up in flames.

Mr Cope, who is co-ordinator for the Green Party’s North Kirklees branch, stood in Dewsbury West at this year’s council elections.

He has written to Kirklees Council’s cabinet member for housing and enforcement management Coun Naheed Mather (Lab).

Mr Cope said: “I’m a local resident and like my neighbours and many others in the area, I don’t want my family exposed to these unnecessary dangers.”

He added of Suez: “Its website claims to be concerned about protecting the environment. But with incidents like these, it’s like having an open-air incinerator on your doorstep.

“We want Kirklees to assure us they are putting residents and the local environment first, rather than profit dividends for Suez’s shareholders.”

Mr Cope wants to know what profits the contract with Kirklees allows and what penalties the firm could face.

He said: “As well as the risk from fire itself, toxins released into the atmosphere by the blaze may well be unknown in terms of quantity and type. So-called normal particulate pollution is already a serious issue across the country.

“According to Public Health England, around 200 premature deaths were caused in Kirklees alone in 2010 because of it.

“If poor management of the tip led to incidents like last week’s fire and the one in 2013, this could make these already appalling figures even worse.”

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