Stagnant Pools have to be taken seriously
As a Councillor for the Billing Ward I have to agree with the residents who having raised the issue of the water levels in the Fishponds Road ponds are disgusted and angry at what they see as the dismissive attitude of the Borough Councils Cabinet Member of the environment towards the concerns they raised.
Thankfully the Environmental Agency hasn’t shown the same level of disinterest.
Let me put a couple of things right,
It is true that the Borough Council have never stocked the lakes with fish, however it is not true that there have never been fish in the lakes. In fact the residents, many of who have lived in the area for over 30 years actually fished the lakes and have in the past caught pike which is an indication, according to those who know about these things, that other species of fish also live in the lakes or ast least have in the past.
What the experts tell us is that fish are quick to leave waters that are becoming stagnant and/or cannot sustain them.
The lakes in question are small former gravel pits which are naturally fed from underwater springs and not as suggested from rainwater running off of the nearby roads, a fact that is obvious to anyone who has any sense at all because if as suggested it is the lack of rainfall falling on the roads then the lakes would have dried up every summer.
The environment agency have been very helpful having agreed to carry out an immediate inspection and produce a report and share it with the residents, which in itself calls into question Councillor Caswell’s claims that the Borough Council has been monitoring the lakes for the past couple of years.
The facts are that the last inspection report on the lakes was carried out by the environment agency in 1998-1999 and indicated the lakes’ water supply was from a natural supply.
The other major concern raised by the residents is of course the number of rats that are now being seen in their homes, and once again the residents are angered by the response from the Borough Council when they were reportedly told that,
“We can only get involved when it becomes a health hazard”
“What” – I hear many people cry – “aren’t rats a health hazard all of the time”?
The Borough Council Labour group has raised this issue on a number of occasions and have forced the Conservative administration into putting £40,000 into next years budget to help resolve the issue.
It has to be said that the administration hasn’t yet provided a definition of what will be classed as hardship before they respond to calls from the public.
Residents in Fishers Close in particular have seen an increase in the problem with dead rats on the roads outside of their homes, and are in particular annoyed by the response from the Borough Council refusing to collect it.
Not a difficult job and is now on my CV.
It is somewhat amusing that the only thing the Borough Council appear to accept responsibility for is the sign that ironically firmly states, NO SWIMMING.
On the serious side, the misinformation and dismissive attitude of the Borough Council demonstrated towards the residents begs the question of the Councils commitment to environmental issues and whether it is a foretaste of further cuts in the services.