Probe launched over asbestos clear up in Brookmans Park

AN inquiry has been launched after council contractors took more than four weeks to clear asbestos waste illegally dumped in Brookmans Park. In last week s WHT, we revealed

AN inquiry has been launched after council contractors took more than four weeks to clear asbestos waste illegally dumped in Brookmans Park.

In last week's WHT, we revealed the rubbish, which had been discarded in Bradmore Lane, was reported to both Welwyn Hatfield Council and the police on February 16.

Yet despite the presence of the deadly mineral, and contractor Serco's own 20 working day turnaround target for clearing fly-tipping, the refuse was not cleared until Wednesday.

Adam Fergie, from Serco, admitted "asbestos is classed as a hazardous material".

He said: "The materials did contain asbestos, which required specialist skills and equipment for removal.

"We can also confirm that regrettably this material was not removed within the time frame we would normally apply to this type of incident.

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"The fly-tip has now been removed by Serco's specialists and an internal review of our response process is currently taking place, to ensure that our normal response time of three to four days continues to be our benchmark."

He added: "Fly-tipping is a major problem throughout the UK and one which Serco is working in partnership with the council to address.

"With over 1,800 fly-tip enquiries each year within Welwyn Hatfield alone, our focus on continual improvement ensures the highest importance is placed upon public safety and environmental consideration."

The WHT contacted the Health Protection Agency (HPA) to ask what health risks dumped asbestos posed.

A spokesman said: "If the waste was genuinely undisturbed there would have been minimal hazard from it.

"A hazard is more likely to take place when it is moved.

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