Date set for emergency meeting on ‘smelly’ Walleys Quarry


After a weekend of high tensions across The Potteries due to ‘rotten egg’ smells from a landfill, an emergency council meeting has been called.

Labour councillors called for the meeting after 2,000 complaints were made to Newcastle council over last weekend, with smell reports relating to Walleys Quarry in Silverdale from as far away as Trent Vale in Stoke-on-Trent.

And the Conservative administration agreed action was needed, with both sides touting a call to cease operation or even cap-off the site.

A motion will be put forward calling for suspension of operations at the site, but any decision would likely lie with the Environment Agency (EA).

The EA have taken a verbal battering from the local MP Aaron Bell and council leader Simon Tagg who demanded their boss for the West Midlands step down.

And even Boris Johnson waded into the debate after his visit to Tunstall saw him quizzed on the issue.

The PM said: “I do not in any way minimise people’s frustrations. If it’s been going on for a while then we’ll have to sort it out.”

Mr Tagg said: “This special meeting of the council has been called following the massive public concern about foul odours affecting large parts of Newcastle.

“Councillors will have the opportunity to debate the response of the EA, which I think has been shambolic, and will also receive a scrutiny report about the landfill at Walleys Quarry and be asked to support a motion calling for a suspension of operations at the site.”



Councillor Simon Tagg, leader of Newcastle Borough Council

Labour’s Councillor Dave Jones, who represents Silverdale on the county council, said: “We have put up with this stink long enough.

“Just over a year ago I put the EA on notice regarding their failures to protect residents from these horrendous odours.

“Since then, they have permitted an increase in the amount of waste that can be dumped at the site, despite objections from myself and other residents that the smell is becoming an increasing problem.

“The revelation that recently installed monitoring equipment was inactive over the weekend, due to a ‘power issue’, was the final straw.

“I have called this meeting because I no longer have confidence in the Environment Agency, or the operator, to control the putrid odours our families are forced to endure.

“The motion that stands in my name is a strong message to the Environment Agency, and the Government, that until these odours are identified and controlled, operations on the site, including the acceptance of waste must be suspended.”

A spokesperson for the EA said: “We recognise and understand concerns raised about odour in the Silverdale area of Newcastle under Lyme, Staffordshire surrounding Walleys Quarry landfill, operated by Red Industries.

“This weekend saw a record number of complaints made to our incident centre. We take these reports very seriously and do not underestimate the difficulty of the situation for residents in the area. Our officers contacted Red Industries at the weekend about the reports of odour.”

Red Industries have been contacted for comment.

The emergency meeting will be held on Thursday, March 18 at 7pm, and broadcast live on Youtube. The link can be accessed through the council’s website, here.



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