Cleansing Services Group

Opposition Day – in the House of Commons at 7:24 pm on 18th January 2001.

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Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury 7:24 pm, 18th January 2001

In the early hours of 30 October, there was an explosion and subsequent fires at the chemical reprocessing plant owned and run by Cleansing Services Group Ltd. at Sandhurst in Gloucestershire. Because the site flooded soon after, as it is prone to do, the hazardous chemicals could not be removed from the site for some time. Many people have since complained of feeling ill, and two were detained in hospital for a while afterwards.

The site has emitted obnoxious odours for years, and I and many others, including local councillors Mark Williams and Paul Ockelton, have repeatedly warned about the unsafe running of that plant. We were largely ignored, yet, sadly, we were right. The chemical works are built on a flood plain. The company has shown a disregard for its neighbours and the environment, and the agencies have been unable to control it effectively.

Photo of Alan Haselhurst Alan Haselhurst Deputy Speaker and Chairman of Ways and Means

Order. I must tell the hon. Gentleman that he is not allowed to make a speech when presenting a petition. He has solely the right to present the petition.

Photo of Laurence Robertson Laurence Robertson Conservative, Tewkesbury

The petition was compiled by the chairman of Sandhurst parish council, Mr. Andrew Warren, and contains about 2,100 signatures.

The petitioners therefore request that the House of Commons urge the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions to close the site in order to eliminate any hazardous operation with the potential to cause damage to the surrounding environment and population.To lie upon the Table.