Opposing politicians work together in bid to secure talks on dust fears
AN MP and her predecessor have told Avonmouth residents they are working to set up long-awaited meeting over potentially harmful dust in the area.
Bristol North West MP Charlotte Leslie and Doug Naysmith, who stepped down from the seat in 2010 and is now a city councillor for Avonmouth, say they are working to bring together businesses in the port, local authorities and people affected by falling wood dust.
Residents claim that dust, which has been persistently blanketing their homes near the docks, is leading to health problems.
A scientific paper released last month said wood dust particles could cause cancer but were too small to be considered dangerous under current safety regulations.
Business Cards From Only £10.95 Delivered www.myprint-247.co.ukView details
Our heavyweight cards have FREE UV silk coating, FREE next day delivery & VAT included. Choose from 1000's of pre-designed templates or upload your own artwork. Orders dispatched within 24hrs.
Terms: Visit our site for more products: Business Cards, Compliment Slips, Letterheads, Leaflets, Postcards, Posters & much more. All items are free next day delivery. www.myprint-247.co.uk
Contact: 01858 468192
Valid until: Sunday, May 26 2013
The city council says the amount of dust being produced in the area has been reduced and companies processing wood have claim to have ceased production. But residents have been calling for a meeting to voice their concerns and ask questions about the issue.
Mr Naysmith, pictured, said the possibility of the a meeting was still on the cards, despite many residents losing faith.
He said: "We have been trying to arrange a meeting with the port, the Environment Agency, the Health Protection Agency and the city council but to get all of them together is proving quite difficult. There's a real problem and I am very much aware of the situations but because it falls between three authorities, it is difficult know who to target.
"When there is a date there is always a tendency for one to pull out, deeming it a useless exercise."
Mr Naysmith added that he hoped there will be some "good news" on the progress towards a meeting within the next month and said that he also hoped the meeting would be public.
He said: "If we can find a date and stick to it, it ought to go ahead. But as it is, there is a real reluctance from some parties to engage in the whole process."
Ms Leslie added her support for a meeting, which she said could answer long-awaited questions for residents.
She said: "It is really important to get everyone around the table and make some progress.
"Diaries permitting, I would like a meeting to be scheduled in the next few weeks."
Ms Leslie said she hoped the meeting could be set up with a "constructive format", allowing residents to discuss their concerns.
Concerns about the potential health risks of wood dust have led to residents in King Street, Green Lane and Poole Street sending samples away for testing.
Some results have already come back showing traces of poisonous formaldehyde and arsenic.