|LNG plant on the Isle of Grain|
Any way, now I've got some wind in my sails and a couple of articles from Friday's Messenger, which saves me a lot of research time and FOI requests!
Right first off the Siren.
Now as I understand it, there was a lot of pressure from residents, led by Mr Hope, for a warning system for the villagers in case there was an emergency at the Gas plant. Although the chances of there being a problem at the plant are exceptionally low there are indeed concerns for the villagers who live in close to the plant.
The fact that should there be a major incident the residents sit under a blast or gas radius, there's only one road onto the island etc...
That's by the by though and the Council Health and Safety committee has looked into it and I do not know enough to add to the war of words and opinions on this matter so I shan't attempt to.
What can be said is that the Council promised to install it last September and this week it was tested, three loud blasts were sounded.
One minor *cough* snag was that it wasn't audible across the whole area!
Parish Councillor Chris Buckwell (con) said; I spoke to two or three villagers, one of whom didn't hear it
Nor did the local Primary school.
Councillor Mike O'Brien, respected head of Community Safety who was part of a Council team present for the test is quoted as admitting it was Work in progress and We had a whole team of officers out there investigating it and once we have sat down in the cold light of day and looked at the results properly we will know where to go next
The Siren cost £24,000 and as Councillor O'Brien says [It] wasn't legally necessary but I thought it was a good reassurance for the residents. My firm belief is the residents of Grain have absolutely nothing to fear.
I would like to remind Mike; somewhat cheekily that White Star line said the same thing about the Olympic class liners. It was considered that the safety measures in the design were sufficient enough to withstand any collision "likely" to occur and that they had the Legally required amount of lifeboats and a few extras. Cue an Iceberg and the Titanic.
What I mean is, when it comes to disasters it doesn't matter what safety measures are put in! Some one should have looked at the design specs before it was implemented and questioned if it was loud enough. Still, I'm sure its being looked at now.
Next up, a hazardous waste dump?
The Development Company Peel is in the early stages of proposing a 120 acre site right next to the village of Grain. This is not the first time that such a site has been proposed and Parish Councillor Chris Buckwell defeated the last one. Things are different now of course...
The last Government changed the rules of such building schemes saying that if it was of National importance it could over rule elected officials and locals... Well that's not democracy or respecting one's citizens. Good Job Labour.
Unelected planning inspectors will make the decision instead of Medway councillors. We're very disappointed about that. Says Cllr Buckwell.
The site itself well deal with cleaning Industrial Gas burners, using specially created bacteria to eat pollutants, soil cleansing and other measures but will not handle hospital or radioactive waste. There is also an agreement with the company that they will fully consult with the residents at every stage of the process. Ultimately though it will be up to the inspectors rather than the elected Council.
Although it is to be a wide open process and with the company giving exhibitions to the Villagers I would trust that should they truly oppose the site stringently with good cause that it would not go ahead.
Though I would strongly suggest to the people of Grain, Mr Hope and Cllr Buckwell - look at the Localism Act. An awesome bit of Liberal Democrat inspired legislation that gives local neighbourhood groups the power to fight such moves and Councils. I'm not overly clear on the details, as I said at the beginning Time is escaping me but seriously guys... take a look... it may help.
Gas leak warning siren seen - but not always hear - By Dan Bloom, p 21, Medway messenger 29-6-12
Village earmarked for a SECOND hazard-waste dump - By Dan Bloom, p 11, Medway Messenger 29-6-12