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Premier: Belco has to tackle pollution




Power firm Belco has to do more to to tackle pollution that affects its neighbours, the Premier said today.

David Burt added: “It is crystal clear that Belco must do more to address the concerns of residents.

“In this instance, where there is actual evidence of things being deposited into their water tanks, and fumes going into people's houses, the fact is that painting roofs and cleaning tanks is not enough.”

Mr Burt was speaking after he and Jason Hayward, the labour minister, met a group of concerned Pembroke residents at their regular surgery for Constituencies 17 and 18 at West Pembroke School.

Mr Burt said there had to be “a long-term fix to prevent this from happening” rather than Belco clearing up the mess.

He added: ” “If you clean tanks and clean roofs, and haven't fixed the source of the problem, you are just going to have to clean tanks and clean roofs again.”

He said: “I also want residents to know and understand that this is not just a 17/18 issue. If there is a problem with increased emissions, it is something that affects the wider island. That is the approach that Government will take.”

Residents of the area around the power station on Serpentine Road, Pembroke earlier said they feared the potential impact on public health and property caused by regular deposits of orange material and soot fallout from the plant.

Mr Burt said: “Health and safety is job number one. Just as we made it job number one during the pandemic, so we have to make it job number one in this instance.”

Mr Burt added: “I told the residents that we met today that this issue is personal for me because my homestead is on Euclid Avenue.

“This is an issue that affects my family. When I am no longer in office, I will go back to my homestead. I recognise and understand their concerns because it's where my family comes from.”

Mr Burt said he had advised area householders to join forces with other groups that had approached Government for help with Belco pollution problems.

He added: “The message I shared with them is to make sure they catalogue their concerns. As the local area representatives, we will bring those concerns to Belco.”

Cathy Pereira, the spokeswoman for the group, said that they “definitely” felt that their concerns had been heard.

Ms Pereira added: “I think the meeting was very good. It is a concern of the Premier's as well.

“He has given us advice on what we should do to be together as one group. It's a great idea.

“There is no sense in having multiple groups. We are into the fourth month and this issue is ongoing.”

People power: David Burt talks to residents complaining about Belco pollution at his regular constituency surgery at West Pembroke School. (Photograph by Akil Simmons)




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Published August 08, 2020 at 3:18 pm (Updated August 08, 2020 at 9:18 pm)

Premier: Belco has to tackle pollution

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