After Friday’s demonstration and the on-going PLAGUE OF FLIES, there was a packed out Avonmouth Neighbourhood Forum last night. The regular meeting is known to locals as the ‘dust forum’, because it usually involves discussing shitty clouds of some description blowing over the Docks boundaries into Avonmouth Village and the surrounding areas.
Assistant Mayor Gus Hoyt was handed down the task to deal with these issues months ago by the Mayor on behalf of the City Council, but has since denied responsibility and failed to turn up. The Environment Agency were nowhere to be seen and many residents pointed out if they’re partly responsible why the fuck weren’t they invited?
Boomeco the company responsible for the fly infestation had their Managing Director Oliver ‘ever so sorry’ Latter there. Conservative MP Charlotte ‘Bacardi’ Leslie and two Tory councillors were there along with Sue Turner director of communications at the port.
The meeting began with Oliver Latter standing in front of the packed community centre looking like he’d SHAT HIMSELF, saying he was very sorry and he’s clearing up his mess as we speak. But the community were unrelenting in their questioning ‘WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT OUR SIDE OF THE FENCE?’ They also invited him to stay the night in one of their houses saying he could have ‘flies on toast for breakfast’. Latter he refused to take up any of the community’s suggestions of acts of goodwill, like distributing free fly spray or fly strips that residents have been forking out for. The company could easily afford this, but if they did, they’d be in a way accepting responsibility before the Environment Agency proceedings come to an end.
Charlotte Leslie tried her smarmy best to appear reasonable and also defuse the anger aimed at The Port Company and Boomeco. However one resident shouted from the back of the room ‘£28,000 quid’, the amount that the Port Company recently donated to Tory Leslie and she (illegally) failed to declare to Parliament. Another ‘cash for questions’ scandal in the making?
Sue Turner from the Port also received her share of the justified abuse after saying ‘we have a legally bound obligation to allow all Ships to dock’, but people heckled that ‘doesn’t mean they can dump unsafe crap in the open air’ in Avonmouth. Tory Councillor Wayne Harvey who works at the Port played confused and told everyone to ‘keep letting us know when we slip up’ to keep talking and emailing in, to which one resident asked ‘if they’d get paid part of his wages for doing part of his job for him?’
All of the speakers arrogance shone through by trying to tell residents that other incidents of pollution weren’t on the agenda and not relevant. But of course they are relevant because they’ve been through it all before with a million other companies in Avonmouth, and people are sick to the teeth. And as a speaker said this ‘couldn’t happen up Sneyd Park’; because Avonmouth isn’t rich it gets ignored over and over again.
These Scumbag companies that have operated out of the port over the years that have shat on Avonmouth, whilst making tons of money off of the people who work for them and profiting from the health problems caused, are pushing residents to the edge once more.
So in summary The Tories, The Port company and Boomeco played pass the blame, enjoying when residents were directing their anger at absentees the Environment Agency or Ferguson and Hoyt.
How Boomeco and the Port can stand there whilst residents talk emotively about their children getting pneumonia, respiratory problems and cooking in fly infested kitchens and give people nothing but the promise of another meeting is shameful. These new companies at the port are replacing old technologies with supposed new ‘green’ ones that are doing just as much harm to residents health as before and sticking ‘eco’ in your name isn’t going to cut it.
The community won’t accept just another meeting; there was talk of more demonstrations and direct action as the meeting was wrapping up. Watch this space