Uckfield residents battling Southern Water about a problem with flies from town sewage works are feeling more positive about their dealings with the company.
More than 30 people attended a public meeting on Saturday at the Victoria Pleasure Ground for an update on progress and to talk about what should happen next.
They were invited by Den Banfield, who set up the residents’ group, to split into socially distanced groups of five to share their experiences with flies and were then told about latest emails from Southern Water.
They were also reminded of the importance of reporting any incidences of swarming flies as soon as they occurred to help Wealden Council’s environmental health officer collect evidence for legal action.
Residents’ leaders were pleased that the company had asked for a key contact to ensure updates can be shared within the group.
And, they were told, the company was arranging for a code to be quoted when the customer team was contacted to make it easier to track reports against operational information.
Southern Water also said its team would like to invite a representative onto the site to showcase work being undertaken and ensure a strong line of ongoing communication.
MP Nus Ghani
In addition an email from Southern Water to Wealden MP Nus Ghani was shared at the public meeting which outlined key actions including:
- A representative from the company’s pesticide supplier had reviewed the treatment process and conducted larval survey training with the team so that regular surveying could be undertaken to track larval numbers and then influence the treatment regime.
- A separate independent specialist had been commissioned to visit the site and provide an independent review and check of procedures and management plan.
- Adult fly traps had been installed into a number of treatment beds, and boundary fence locations were being investigated if deemed appropriate.
- There were new protools which were reactive to data collected.
- A lab area was being installed within the works to carry out testing, recording, and ongoing evaluation of the data.
- Ongoing communication with the Wealden Council Environmental Health Officer, showcasing actions, and supporting any further complaints to the environmental health officer.
Southern Water also told the MP about the plan to invite a representative of the residents’ association, along with the environmental health officer and local media representative, to tour the facility and be updated on the actions about and changes that had been made.
The company added they hoped this could be broadened out later in the year, with further lockdown easing, for more residents who may be interested.
The MP was invited to the meeting and told the provisional date for it was Friday, May 21, 1-3pm.
Some of the residents attending the public meeting can be seen in the photographs below.
Read more about the issues residents have with flies, which have been acknowledged by Southern Water to come from the sewage works other Uckfield News stories: