A meeting took place with interested parties at Bootle Town Hall last Friday (31 March 2017) in relation to the latest fire at European Metal Recycling (ERM) at Alexandra Dock.
A full and frank discussion took place chaired by Councillor John Fairclough.
The meeting was attended by various parties including management from ERM, representatives of the Environment Agency (EA), the Health and Safety Executive (HAE) in addition to Sefton Council’s Public Health and Environmental Health departments, as well as Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service (MFRS).
Peter Dowd MP also attended along with a number of councillors who represent various parts of the area.
"In short, we made it clear to ERM that a repeat of the incident will be totally unacceptable," said Councillor Fairclough.
Peter Dowd indicated that the meeting had received assurances from ERM that they took the incident very seriously.
"Crucially ERM told us that they have put in place more substantial monitoring of the site. They also said that certain recycling materials, which may have been a contributory factor of the fire would not be permitted on the site until a full assessment of the possible causes of the fire had taken place."
Mr Dowd added:
"Whilst we recognise the preventative work undertaken by ERM since the last fire, nevertheless we remain concerned. We received a full report from Merseyside Fire and Rescue Service which hopefully will be published shortly. We have agreed to meet again in a month to reassess the situation."
Councillor Gordon Friel said:
"Actions speak louder than words. We expect ERM to fulfil their duties as a socially responsible business in our area. If they don't we will explore every avenue to ensure that they do. The safety of our community is paramount. ERM need to ensure that they do all they can to prevent another fire."
Councillor Brenda O'Brien:
"We expect the Environment Agency, who has responsibility to monitor and regulate such businesses, are held to account for the role they have in protecting the public against any recurrence of the fire which may put the safety of the public in danger. My council colleagues will be keeping a close watch on the actions of the Agency. They need to be on the side of the community on this matter and as open and transparent as humanly possible."
Councillor Mike O’Brien, who represents the Stanley Road area which is close to where the fire occurred, said:
"I hope that ERM have learned the lessons from this latest incident in particular. Fires of this nature are dangerous. There have been 4 in the last 18 months. They put the public and jeopardy and do nothing for the reputation of ERM or Peel Ports. I just hope they will address the issue of communication with the local community. This has been woefully lacking and has to be put right otherwise our local communities will become even more worried and concerned. They must be kept in the loop."
Councillor Ian Moncur, who has oversight of the Public Health department, commented:
"The public is my number 1 priority. That's why there can be no compromise with any one or any agency when it comes to their health and safety. Our communities expect local businesses to act not just with the interest of the business at heart but also the community where they base their operations. We will do everything we can to ensure that their voice is heard and their concerns acted up on."