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Julian Sturdy - Strong Voice for York Outer

Julian Sturdy

Member of Parliament for York Outer

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Julian Calls for Action on Harewood Whin Fire

January 13, 2015

Julian has waded into a debate over an ongoing fire at Yorwaste’s Harewood Whin site after being contacted by several concerned constituents who fear for the impact the fumes are having on public health.

Last week, Julian wrote to Mark Scott, the Yorkshire Area Manager at the Environment Agency, to reiterate the local residents’ concerns and to ask the Agency to ensure the situation is brought to a quick and successful resolution, with public safety being treated as paramount. He also wrote to Steve Grieve, the Managing Director of Yorwaste, in a similar vein.

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government is currently reviewing a planning application submitted by Yorwaste to expand their Harewood Whin site onto the greenbelt, which many residents and Julian have asked to be ‘called in’ for further scrutiny. Julian has therefore written again to Mr Pickles to make him aware of the situation with the fire in advance of reaching his decision.

On Friday, Julian held a telephone conference call with James Parker, the York Team Leader at the Environment Agency to get an update on the situation. He reported that the fire had been isolated and would not spread any further. The belief is that by trying to suffocate the fire, it could be made worse. In future, the Agency promised to ensure garden waste is processed more quickly on the site, and the temperature monitored more effectively, so that there are no repeats of the blaze in the months and years to come.

Over the weekend, Julian attended a public meeting organised by Rufforth residents to update them on the Harewood Whin planning application, as well as the latest on the ongoing fire and the Council’s plans for a Traveller Site immediately adjacent to the Waste site.

Commenting on the fire, Julian said:

“I want to assure all residents in the communities to the west of York that I will continue to monitor the situation very closely and put pressure on the Environment Agency, Yorwaste and the Fire Brigade to take decisive action to ensure that we see the back of this fire, and the apprehension it is causing, as soon as possible. Moving forward, I am also encouraging the relevant agencies to do everything they can to avoid this problem ever happening again.”

Pictured: Julian with local Councillor Chris Steward, at a recent public meeting in Rufforth.