Wednesday, 3 November 2010

Thames Water's and LBH's faecal attraction

The consultant Entec has been commissioned to hold a public consultation tonight on the odour nuisance created by the activities of Thames Water at the Mogden Sewage Treatment Works in Isleworth.

Although residents suffering the Mogden Pong for the most part reside in Isleworth, Whitton or Twickenham the meeting is being held at the Civic Centre in Hounslow, at least two miles away from most of Mogden's victims.

It begins at 7.00pm - not that most residents will know that, as the start time was accidentally omitted from the mailout that was allegedly delivered to 10,000 households in the area.

Most of the people within the claimed distribution area that MRAG (Mogden Residents' Action Group) have spoken to have not received a newsletter.

Questions sent by MRAG to Entec have not been responded to. We were told yesterday that Entec had taken a "policy decision" not to respond to individual questions. Apparently a question from a residents' group demonstrably representing thousands of households still constitutes an "individual question".

A cynic would suspect that tonight's meeting will be nothing but a stage-managed public relations exercise. A cynic would expect that the inevitably low turnout will lead the organisers to publicly aver that Mogden is not an issue for most residents.

And what, I wonder, would the same cynic make of the fact that Entec and Thames Water have chosen the Civic Centre as a "home" venue, when so much hot air has been expended over many years by successive administrations about the local authority being on the side of the residents?


Anonymous said...

Mr Andrews, surely you're not accusing Thames Water & Entec of dealing from the bottom of the deck ?
Also, we're all wondering why you chose to post this piece just BEFORE the meeting instead of posting a piece just afterwards as per usual.
This seems to suggest that you knew at the time you would'nt be attending as planned.
They did'nt send the heavies round to put the frighteners on, did they ?

Phil Andrews said...

I did attend.

Anonymous said...

Sorry Phil, I stand corrected - I've just seen your jousting match with John Todd on TW8 !
Usually when you attend these events, we get the low-down afterwards, so when when no post-meeting report appeared, I assumed you decided not to attend.

Embarrassing misunderstanding now aside, will we be seeing any feedback from this consultation ?
Also, I was intrigued by your comments casting doubt on the 'alleged' distribution of 10,000 newsletters.
Have you good reason to believe the distribution was far more limited and selective ?
The meeting itself - was it really a complete and utter whitewash job ?

Phil Andrews said...

I expressed my view that the meeting was box-ticker before it took place because had I done so afterwards it would have been said that I was making excuses for the inevitably low turnout.

You will always get a low turnout if you organise public meetings far enough away from where the public are. The fact is that over 3800 signed the MRAG petition, nearly 1400 are signed up to the legal action, and over 100 attended the Mogden demo in April 2009 at less than a day's notice. Three public meetings held in the vicinity have also attracted over 100 people apiece.

MRAG has asked for a copy of the Report that was announced at Wednesday's meeting and when we get it we will publish it. The meeting was organised simply to announce the Report.

As far as he distribution goes there is no evidence of selectivity, I refer simply to the fact that several people complained to us of not having received it, and those who did expressed the view that it was vague. The fact that only fifteen people responded to it speaks for itself.

It would be an overstatement to say the meeting was a 100% farce. There were a few interesting points to emerge from it. We will ensure these are reported one we receive the hard copy of the Report.

Anonymous said...

Interesting that the Manager of Mogden who also sat on the steering committee last week, is no longer working for Thames Water.