Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Seaside Sewage Spill Investigation Announced

Chairman of Thanet District Council’s  Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Ian Driver, announced this week the launch of a major enquiry into the spillage of raw sewage into the sea off Margate earlier this year.
The spillage from the Southern Water operated Foreness Point Pumping Station,  took place over the Queen’s Jubilee Bank Holiday  and  led to the closure of all of Thanet’s award winning beaches for  almost one week and the  loss of trade for many local businesses.
Said Driver, “We have now agreed a series of dates with all the key players involved in this major pollution incident and will be holding meetings with them over  September and October . The meetings are scheduled for -    
·         6th September 2012 the  Council Chamber @ 7.00 pm - Interviewing Thanet Council officers
·         17 September 2012 – Council Chamber @ 7.00 pm - Interviewing Environment Agency officers
·         9 October 2012 Council Chamber @ 7.00 pm - Interviewing Southern Water officers
·         11 October 2012 - Council Chamber @ 7.00 pm - Interviewing public and Business Community
“The purpose of the investigation is to find out  how effectively Thanet Council, the Environment Agency  and Southern Water managed this serious environmental pollution incident,  and whether any lessons can be learned which might improve the way we  respond to any future incidents. The meetings are open to the public and I would encourage anyone who is concerned about how we manage our beaches and deal with pollution to come along” said Driver .
He also called on  local business and anyone using Thanet’s  beaches over the Jubilee Bank Holiday who was affected by the sewage spillage to come forward if they wished to give evidence. “We have scheduled a special meeting on 11 October at 7pm were local businesses and members of the public can tell us how the spillage impacted on them and to let us have their views on well the situation was handled. If you would like to give evidence please e-mail me at cllr-Ian.Driver@thanet.gov.uk
 Once it has heard all the evidence, the Scrutiny Panel intends to make recommendations about any improvements which could be introduced to manage any future sewage pollution incidents more effectively.

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