Ryedale’s MP has pledged to “find the best way forward” to solve issues surrounding pollution concerns in a Ryedale village.
Anne McIntosh, MP for Thirsk, Malton and Filey, was speaking after she met with campaigners in Brawby to listen to their concerns ahead of the first anniversary of a “pollution” incident which left their streets under contaminated floodwater for several days.
Thursday’s meeting with parish representatives came days after calls were made for a round table discussion with Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency, North Yorkshire County Council and other authorities in an attempt to solve the problem once and for all.
There are fears among residents that they will once again end up stranded in their homes if there is a repeat of last year’s flooding which was caused by heavy rainfall and the sewer backing up.
They blame Brawby’s antiquated sewage system as the root of the problem which they say has also led to repeated incidents of the village becoming flooded with water from the sewers over the past year.
Speaking yesterday, Miss McIntosh said she had already met with Yorkshire Water and now intends to contact the Environment Agency, the county council and campaigners to give them an opportunity to comment on the issues before holding a meeting, if necessary.
“It was very good to see it at first hand,” she said. “I can understand the villagers’ frustration and I’m prepared to stand as their advocate but we just can’t blame one body for failing, It’s the failure of a number of bodies.
“It is unacceptable from the police and fire service’s point of view that we can’t have that kind of spillage bringing traffic to a complete standstill and, who knows that next time it won’t be coming into their houses, not forgetting that children have to get to school and people have to get to work or doctors appointments.”
Simon Thackray, who is one of the lead campaigners in Brawby, said the big sticking point was the refusal of all agencies to spend the money needed for “remedial engineering work” that will cure the problem.
A document on the history of the sewer which features their solution was presented to Miss McIntosh during her visit.
Mr Thackray said, “We had a very productive conversation with Anne McIntosh today and she happily accepted a guided tour of the sewer and listened to our concerns. It is reassuring to us that she has pledged to work on our behalf to broker a resolution to the problem.”
“The problem is like the sewage, it will not drain away of its own accord. We are currently stuck between two multi-million pound organisations that are squabbling like children. We are living under the threat of further pollution and public nuisance as the bad weather and winter approaches and it is simply unacceptable.”