Asbestos sheets left outside public toilet on Elm Road, Leigh, for more than two weeks

Southend Standard: Risk to the public – construction worker Nigel Low with asbestos dumped outside the public toilets on Elm Road Risk to the public – construction worker Nigel Low with asbestos dumped outside the public toilets on Elm Road

A BUILDER has hit out at the council for waiting more than two weeks to remove dumped asbestos from a public toilet.

The asbestos was identified by Nigel Low, 45, a construction worker of Leamington Road, Southchurch, who spotted it outside the toilets in Elm Road while walking his dog.

He believes the council has been slow in removing it, claiming he first called them about it three weeks ago.

Mr Low said: “I work on sites in London and have been given asbestos awareness training, so I knowwhat the material looks like.

“People are using the toilets and walking past and don’t even know what it is.

“It’s a public health risk, but the people I was speaking to at the council were nonchalant about it.

“I couldn’t believe it.”

A spokesman for the council said staff had been out to inspect the asbestos, but as it was not broken up, did not consider it an immediate risk.

Steven Crowther, Southend Council’s group manager for waste and environmental care, said: “A report was received on March 24 regarding two undamaged asbestos sheets that had been flytipped in Leigh.

“An environmental care officer visited the site the next day to assess the public health risk and begin an investigation. The asbestos sheets were solid, fully intact, undamaged, outside and deemed to pose no risk to the public in their undamaged state.

“The officer made several return trips to re-assess the risk.

“An investigation was undertaken as we have a duty to find out who dumped the material, potentially prosecute and ensure the offenders dispose of the material correctly and at their own cost.

“However, the investigation proved inconclusive, so we raised an order with our specialist contractor on April 9. Their contract with us means they have to remove waste for us within 48 hours.

“We would urge people to dispose of hazardous waste correctly and through authorised and licensed waste carriers, whose details are available on our website.”

Asbestos was popular for its sound absorption and resistance to heat, electrical and chemical damage, but can cause illnesses such as lung cancer.

Comments (6)

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10:15am Thu 17 Apr 14

liseinga says...

Of course it is safe while undamaged, but knowing the love many young people have of damaging things, the chance that some idiot started kicking it to pieces should have been anticipated.
Of course it is safe while undamaged, but knowing the love many young people have of damaging things, the chance that some idiot started kicking it to pieces should have been anticipated. liseinga
  • Score: 15

10:36am Thu 17 Apr 14

morbeous says...

Well the Council obviously need to change their contractor. They said they raised an order on 9th April to have it removed and their contractor carries out work within 48 hours. Well today is 17th April so shouldn't this have been moved on 11th April?
Well the Council obviously need to change their contractor. They said they raised an order on 9th April to have it removed and their contractor carries out work within 48 hours. Well today is 17th April so shouldn't this have been moved on 11th April? morbeous
  • Score: 11

11:11am Thu 17 Apr 14

JH_123 says...

What was the cost of sending somebody out to inspect a piece of asbestos multiple times? Why not just send a removal company out in the first instance?!
What was the cost of sending somebody out to inspect a piece of asbestos multiple times? Why not just send a removal company out in the first instance?! JH_123
  • Score: 12

12:48pm Thu 17 Apr 14

Ian P says...

“It’s a public health risk, but the people I was speaking to at the council were nonchalant about it." I bet not one of the people from the Council involved in this fiasco has watched a loved one die of Mesothelioma, a particularly nasty form of asbestos induced lung cancer. If they had I assure you the issue would have been resolved on the day it was reported.
“It’s a public health risk, but the people I was speaking to at the council were nonchalant about it." I bet not one of the people from the Council involved in this fiasco has watched a loved one die of Mesothelioma, a particularly nasty form of asbestos induced lung cancer. If they had I assure you the issue would have been resolved on the day it was reported. Ian P
  • Score: 4

2:05pm Thu 17 Apr 14

CarnMountification says...

Its a good fire returd ent, Sh1t hot....
Its a good fire returd ent, Sh1t hot.... CarnMountification
  • Score: -8

7:08am Fri 18 Apr 14

DogsMessInLeigh says...

why has it taken someone out walking their dog to raise concerns...what happened to the many businesses(food AND a nursery) right on that door step, seems along with the council they don't give a hoot either, if it was outside the council offices it would have been cleared on day one.
why has it taken someone out walking their dog to raise concerns...what happened to the many businesses(food AND a nursery) right on that door step, seems along with the council they don't give a hoot either, if it was outside the council offices it would have been cleared on day one. DogsMessInLeigh
  • Score: -1

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