Odours from the Walleys Quarry landfill site are affecting people across Newcastle-under-Lyme and Stoke-on-Trent.
We know that nearby residents have been suffering since January 2021 due to air pollution from the site, although odour issues started long before. People are reporting symptoms daily including:
- Feeling sick, headaches, dizziness, disturbed sleep
- Stinging eyes, and difficult breathing – especially in people with underlying breathing problems such as asthma
- Feeling anxious or depressed
Expert scientific advice is that the long-term risk to health is likely to be low, but we are increasingly concerned about how long this has been going on, and how much longer it might continue.
Residents experiencing emotional distress due to the odours emanating from the Walleys Quarry landfill site are being offered additional mental health support through a new service open to those aged 16 and over who live or work in close proximity to the site in Silverdale. As well as individual, confidential counselling, support groups for residents affected by the odours are also being offered, alongside coping strategies and self-help materials to help improve wellbeing.
The service is provided by Midlands Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (MPFT) in partnership with North Staffs Mind and Changes Health & Wellbeing. Call the Staffordshire & Stoke-on-Trent Wellbeing Service on 0300 303 0923 or visiting www.staffsandstokewellbeing.nhs.uk, where an online self-referral can be made.
You can also find out more here about the extensive range of mental health and wellbeing advice and support available locally.
We are asking people to record their symptoms to help us capture health data and make the case to Government for a rapid resolution to the situation.
The Environment Agency (EA) is responsible for regulating the site. Staffordshire County Council has encouraged the EA to use its full regulatory powers to improve the situation as quickly as possible and you can find out about the action they are taking and latest air monitoring data on their Citizen Space site. We have also asked the Government to grant more powers to tackle the air pollution from the site.
The county council is working with other agencies including Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council and The UK Health Security Agency. A Strategic Coordinating Group (SCG) has now been established. This move reflects the growing concerns and will help formally co-ordinate the response. The SCG is chaired by Staffordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Simon Tweats.
Frequently asked questions about the situation, including the latest health advice, can be found on the Newcastle-Under-Lyme Borough Council website