It could, of course, have been written by the ICG for those mugs who voted in support of an application by Thames Water to expand its stinky Mogden operation back in 2009 on the grounds that (a) it would "reduce smell" and that (b) the London Borough of Hounslow would be able to exercise "more control" over the selfish, relentlessly profit-driven activities of the water utlity through the watered-down and thoroughly useless Section 106 agreement that Thames condescended to sign as part of the approval process.
The ICG told the sorry shower that comprised the Sustainable Development Committee that the grounds were flawed on two counts. Namely (a) it wouldn't reduce the smell but would increase it, and (b) the London Borough of Hounslow has never had any intention of exercising any kind of control or restraint whatsoever over Thames Water, which imposes its odours on the surrounding community with absolute impunity.
Guess what happened?
The following is an excerpt from a letter written by the resident-led Mogden Residents' Action Group (MRAG) to Isleworth councillor Ed Mayne on June 10th:
"Residents are thus astounded to learn that, without any consultation with MRAG or community groups, the Council elected of its own volition, to remove the out of hours call centre for victims to ring so that Environment Officers can take 24/7 H2S readings and thus build a case to enforce Abatement Notices. Residents were led to believe that this call centre and the associated costs for Council Officers to investigate complaints is funded 100% by Thames Water as a pre-condition of the S106 agreement and it was agreed that this would remain in place until 2013 when the upgrade of Mogden is completed. Why then, and on whose authority was this vital function removed just before the summer months when odour escaping the Mogden premises is at its most severe?
"You will also be aware that residents requested, and were granted GBP 150,000, within the S106 agreement to enhance and beautify the environment around Mogden in residential areas most affected by Mogden's mismanagement and negligence over the last 14 years. We have repeatedly requested information on when consultation with residents will commence in order to define how the £150K will be spent, but we have received no response."
So there you have it, so supportive is the Head of Environment at LBH of the residents who pay his not unsubstantial salary that he has withdrawn an important facility that was provided as a condition of acceptance for the expansion project at no cost at all to the borough!
And what have the elected members, who are supposed to be running the council, done about it?
Well, Councillor Mayne has offered to facilitate a meeting between residents and the new Lead Member for Environment, Councillor Colin Ellar, and this offer is in the process of being responded to.
We can only hope that Councillor Ellar and his administration will take the necessary measures that we would have taken had our coalition partners backed us post-2009 to sort out the utter disgrace that is Hounslow's Environment department for once and for all.