Our Man in Westminster
The complaints about the smell from the sewage treatment works in Kennington reported here last week are completely understandable.
Some of the controversy has been about the “importation” of sewage from outside Ashford to the plant. It seems to me that this is a second order issue and that when you have a plant in the middle of an urban area the technology needs to be available to make life comfortable for the neighbours.
This should apply wherever the sewage comes from. I have visited the Southern Water site a number of times, and I know that it has been upgraded over the years. So it is particularly disappointing that this summer has seen more problems than I can remember for many years.
I have been in touch with the chief executive to express my concerns and will continue to work closely with local councillors. The company tells me that they have identified two possible areas which could be causing the smells and have installed odour suppression units at these points. I will be also be keeping a check on the number and time of vehicle movements into the site. This has been another issue which has raised as a potential problem in the area. It will be important over the rest of the summer for Southern Water to continue to monitor the situation and ensure that proper twoway communication is maintained with householders. I will be having a meeting with local representatives to check on progress at the end of August.
Before then I will be making my most important and nerve-racking speech of the year, as the father of the bride. Wish me luck and have a good summer.