Thursday, 7 June 2012

Seaside Sewage Spill Scrutinized

Thanet Independent Group Councillor, Ian Driver, is organising  an urgent enquiry into the  spillage of raw sewage in the sea off  Foreness Point over the Royal Jubliee Bank Holiday  weekend
The spillage from a Southern Water sewage facility, has led to the closure of all of Thanet ‘s award winning blue flag beaches, causing financial losses for  local business.

Driver, who Chair’s the Council’s powerful  Scrutiny Panel  (OSP) said “I have asked Council officers to arrange an urgent meeting of the Scrutiny Panel to begin investigations into what went wrong and why.”
“I will be requesting the attendance  of  top  bosses  from Southern Water and  the  Environment Agency.  I expect them to  provide a full explanation of how this major pollution  incident happened and what arrangements are in place to compensate local businesses who lost money because of the spillage.

 “Thanet has some of the best beaches in the country. They are critical to attracting tourists who make a huge and much needed contribution to Thanet’s  economy. We can’t afford to have serious environmental pollution incidents like this. We need to look at what happened, learn from any mistakes and develop new  robust plans  which make a repetition of this environmental disaster impossible”.


  1. Anonymous backbench CouncillorThursday, 7 June 2012 at 19:05:00 BST


    Councillors during purdah are not allowed to use their position within the Council as a way of promoting what they, or their group, are doing.

    As an experienced Councillor, and a former Council officer, I am sure you know this Ian. I would advise you to withdraw your press release immediately rather than clearly breaking purdah rules.

  2. Anon 19.05 you must have been a bit of a jobsworth. Otherwise you would have known under section 41 of the local government act 1986 that Members holding key political or civic positions should be able to comment in an emergency or where there is a genuine need for a member level response to an important event outside the authority's control.

    1. If you are correct 19.46 - why didn't a Cabinet member make comment on the TV. Either it was purdah or it was they didn't know how to deal with this one.

  3. purdah is a nonsense term except for the month prior to national elections. At a local level - and frequent elections - its a way of avoiding doing anything. Well done Ian get stuck in to TDC and the Environment Agency. Too many bureaucrats doing nothing or too incompetent to keep their jobs.

  4. We don't need a statement from Southern Water or an inquiry by the Environment Agency. We need a public inquiry. It is incorrect to state that these events could not have been prevented. They could have been prevented by designing a system which did not permit such discharge to take place. Such systems do exist. Those who are responsible for designing a flawed system and sanctioning it's use must now be held to account.

    P.S. Can the jobsworth ex-officer explain why a period of purdah is in effect? As far as I am aware we have no election in the next few weeks. Councillors work on my behalf, and I expect them to be working throughout the year and not to be bound by some archaic, nonsensical rules. It is particularly offensive to suggest that Councillors should go home and sit with a cup of hot cocoa when hard-working people are losing their livelihoods because of this appalling c*ckup Whether I agree with him or not, Councillor Driver is active on a range of issues and he seems to get things done. If we had another 50 such Councillors Thanet would really be able to get moving.


Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive and anonymous derogatory comments about real people will be deleted. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.