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S I T TI BI
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THURSDAY, 19th AUGUST, 2010.
INSIDE: OUR COMPREHENSIVE PROPERTY GUIDE FEATURING LOCAL ESTATE AGENTS
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Fees boycott affects town
Recycle plant makes us ill say workers
By Lyndsey Telford Workers on an industrial estate in Congleton have been forced to take time off sick because of what they believe to be toxic fumes coming from a neighbouring factory.
An investigation by the Environment Agency and the Health and Safety Executive is underway into Hanbury Recycling on Radnor Park Industrial Estate, Back Lane, after complaints that “billowing smoke” and “horrific smells” have left people feeling ill.
The firm which recycles lastic waste by reducing it to crumb size — a process called agglomeration — and sending it on to be turned into items like plastic drains, moved to the site four weeks ago and since then neighbouring workers have been complaining of sore throats, headaches and nausea as a result of the fumes coming from the factory.
Hanbury denies burning anything at the plant.
So far two people have been off ill at the industrial estate because of the smell coming from Hanbury, which one worker described as “unbearable”.
The man, who would not give the name of the firm he worked for, told the “Chronicle”: “There is a terrible smell with smoke often pouring out of the building. It’s very worrying because for all we know, the fumes are toxic.”
Another worker from a Radnor Park premises, who would not give his employer’s name, said staff have been forced to work with windows closed to stop the fumes filtering in.
He said: “We have workers complaining of illnesses and two have had to take time off sick. On hot days the smell is so bad, it’s absolutely horrific. People are worried about what they are breathing in.
“The first four days it became operational, there were clouds of smoke billowing out of the factory. It was unbearable. We can live with a bad smell, but this is horrific. Plus there is the added worry that this could be bad for our health. This could also pose a serious local environmental health risk. We can’t continue to work like this. Something needs to be done.”
The same worker claimed that he heard from a Hanbury employee that staff there are working in “awful conditions”, burning “maggots, fish heads and rat faeces” among the waste they are treating.
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New litter-busters hoping to pick up more volunteers
We’re in it to bin it! Coun Rhoda Bailey and Congleton MP Fiona Bruce are pictured at the inaugural litterpick of the newly formed Odd Rode and Lawton Clean Team. The litter-busting band of volunteers have vowed to make the parish of Odd Rode a cleaner place and they want others to join them. For more information and another picture, turn to the back page. (“Chronicle” photo. 3311b/10).
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Iceland money still frozen for cash-strapped council
While councillors urgently look to balance Cheshire East’s budget, they are still waiting for £3m of funds, deposited in a failed Icelandic bank, to be returned almost two years after its collapse.
On Monday, the unitary authority’s Cabinet met to discuss budget projections that could put the council £13m in the red by the end of the year unless “drastic” measures are taken.
It heard how the definition of what constitutes “frontline services” would have to change, while the Cabinet will have to re-evaluate which services it provides, in the run up to the council elections in May next year.
In a separate agenda item on the treasury annual report, councillors were told money that the authority’s predecessor, Cheshire County Council, had tied up in Iceland-based
Heritable Bank, which went bust in October 2008, would not be fully retrieved until September 2012. The council will lose out on over £1m in lost interest.
Although specific budget cuts will not be announced until a meeting next month, Monday’s meeting heard that some services could be transferred to outside bodies, and funding for unnecessary services could soon end.
The council has some money in contingency funds and other savings are already being outlined elsewhere in the budget, but even the most optimistic predictions still put the deficit to be at least £9m.
Coun Frank Keegan, in charge of putting the budget together, said a mixture of emerging spending pressures and Governmentordered cuts was affecting the council’s funds.
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