Christmas Adjournment

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:00 pm on 17th December 2020.

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Photo of Aaron Bell Aaron Bell Conservative, Newcastle-under-Lyme 4:00 pm, 17th December 2020

Yes, scrap the 0 to 6, as my hon. Friend and parliamentary neighbour says.

Looking back, at the end of my first year as the Member of Parliament for Newcastle-under-Lyme, it is my greatest frustration that there has been so little progress on this issue, though I accept that everybody has been entirely preoccupied with coronavirus. The Environment Agency, when I have met it in recent months, is aware of the problem and how it affects my constituents, because it receives these complaints, but it seems to be either hidebound by the law or unable and unwilling to tackle the problem seriously. I understand the operator’s position—it is a commercial operator—but I do not think that it is willing to admit the scale of the problem. It does not, I think, engage properly with complaints, and it has attacked me personally for raising the complaints of my constituents. Perhaps understandably, it repeats that it is operating a compliant site, and that is undoubtedly so case where it is at the moment.

In conclusion, all that my constituents want—particularly the ones in that area—for Christmas is a solution to this. They want a solution to the smell that is plaguing their lives. I do not think it is acceptable that we ask people to live like this. Whether we need to change the law or get fresh monitoring, which I have called for from the Environment Agency, we need to get some progress on this in 2021, because it is unacceptable and it has been going on for far too long.