Posted on Wednesday 21st July 2021
Health experts will be asked about their concerns regarding long term exposure to hydrogen sulphate.
Councillors concerned about the effect of Walleys Quarry on people’s physical and mental wellbeing are holding a special meeting to question public health leaders.
Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council will host the meeting of Staffordshire County Council’s Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee at the Borough’s Castle House headquarters.
The Borough Council offered to host the meeting in Newcastle as a sign of how closely the two authorities are working together on the issue.
County Councillor Jeremy Pert, chairman of the Health and Care Overview and Scrutiny Committee, said:
As the committee responsible for overseeing public health matters in Staffordshire we are worried by the recent assessment that although the long-term risk to health is likely to be small, health experts are increasingly concerned that if hydrogen sulphide emissions continue at the levels seen before May, the risk to long-term health from pollutants in the area cannot be ruled out.
Residents affected by Walleys Quarry have put up with these impacts for too long and we want to understand more from the experts about the consequences for people’s health if the hydrogen sulphide leaks are not returned quickly to acceptable levels.
Our colleagues on the borough council’s Health, Wellbeing and Partnerships Committee are equally worried and as its chairman, Coun Ian Wilkes, also sits on the county council scrutiny committee so we will ensure that their concerns are voiced in the questioning.”
Ian Wilkes, the chair of Newcastle’s Health, Wellbeing and Partnerships Committee, said:
Walleys Quarry is an issue that we are all desperately concerned about, particularly the recent review of the long-term health impacts on our communities, and I welcome the opportunities this meeting presents.
I am hoping that we can get to the finer detail on some of the health risks with our health partners and if enough is being done to mitigate them.”
The meeting will take place in the Garden and Astley rooms at Castle House on Monday (26th) at 2pm. There are a small number of public seats available on a first-come-first-served basis and the meeting will be live streamed (click here) and recorded so that it can be viewed later via YouTube.
Those attending include representatives from Public Health England, the Environment Agency and the Staffordshire Resilience Forum – the multi-agency joint body which was activated as concerns escalated about the situation at Walleys Quarry.