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    An open letter to Mr M Smith from the Environmental Safety Group

    To: Cammell Laird Managing Director, Mel Smith

    Dear Mr Smith,

    Once again we must refer to the delay in the removal of the mountain of grit (some 5,000 tons) deposited within the Cammell Laird yard.

    Members of our group first met with the Environmental Agency in October 2003 and put to them our concern over this mountain of grit, which according to those living in the neighbourhood, had remained within the yard for over two years. The agency explained that they had been in contact with the company over the removal of this waste material.

    We then wrote to Cammell Laird in early December 2003 and have thereafter kept in contact with the company urging them to dispose of what has been officially classed as hazardous material by EA officials. During all these months, Cammell Laird has repeatedly assured us that they are in contact with Government to arrange the removal of the grit, but to date, this has not happened.

    In late July 2004, we decided to go public on the matter, and issued a press release on 27th July asking Cammell Laird or whoever is responsible for the delay to explain publicly why the grit had not yet been removed, and when this would happen. We concluded our press release saying that this was a matter of public importance which warranted a public explanation.

    It is now over a month since we issued our press release requesting the above-mentioned explanations to which the only response has been a message from Cammell Laird stating that more news will be forthcoming after a meeting they hope to hold with Government, but no date has actually been confirmed. Again, this does not provide any information as to the timing of this removal and so we are not satisfied with this response.

    We are asking again for a public explanation either from Government or Cammell Laird as to when the public can expect to see the removal of this grit and what is causing this inordinate and quite deplorable delay.

    The public at large has a right to know.
    Yours faithfully,
    ESG Committee