As the fire at the Blackwater North East carpet recycling plant at Thrunton continues to burn, Sir Alan Beith MP has secured a debate in Parliament to discuss the consequences.
The fire broke out in September 2013. It led to serious problems for people living nearby because the smoke was around for over five months.
– Sir Alan Beith
“This fire should never have happened. Blackwater North East had been reported to the Environment Agency on numerous occasions for various breaches of its operating permit, including storing material for recycling outside the permitted area and in excess quantities.“The residents and the landowner have all had to put up with months of disruption and fears about the long-term effects of the smoke on their health, as well as the potential risk of contamination of the private water supply which the properties at Thrunton rely on."
The main part of the fire was in carpet bales outside the buildings being used for storage and that part of the fire has now been extinguished. The fire inside the building, which has partially collapsed, continued to burn but with little smoke. It is under control.
– Sir Alan Beith
“The landowner, Chris Blythe, has worked tirelessly to manage the fire and it is down to his efforts that the main part of the fire has been extinguished.“I will be challenging the Minister over the responsibility for cleaning up the site and action against the company responsible in view of the long history the recycling company had of not complying with operating conditions imposed by the Environment Agency.”
The Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith is marking 40 years in parliament.
He was elected as a Liberal in 1973. He's now one of the most senior figures in the Liberal Democrats.
Sir Alan will step down at the next general election.
He spoke to Helen Ford for our political programme Around The House. Watch his interview here:
The North East's longest serving MP is celebrating 40 years in Parliament this week.
Sir Alan Beith was first elected in Berwick in 1973, with a winning margin of just 57 votes. Since then he has seen eight Prime Ministers. He is the longest serving Liberal Democrat MP.
Sir Alan Beith is celebrating his 40th anniversary as MP for Berwick at a thank-you event for helpers and supporters, past and present. It takes place at the Northumberland Hall in Alnwick today. In November he will have represented the constituency of Berwick upon Tweed for 4 decades.
Up to 200 jobs are to go at a Northumberland prison.
HMP Northumberland, near Amble, houses more than 1,300 male prisoners. From December it will be managed by private firm Sodexo Justice Services which plans to reduce staff.
The prison officers union claims the company is putting profits ahead of safety. Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith has also expressed concern.
The Northumberland MP Sir Alan Beith has announced that he will stand down at the next election in 2015.
Sir Alan has represented the Berwick constituency since 1973, first as a Liberal and later as a Liberal Democrat.
By 2015, he will have been the MP for Berwick for 42 years.
He is the longest-serving Liberal Democrat MP, and the longest-serving Liberal MP since Lloyd George.
Sir Alan said he would continue to be a 'very active MP' until the 2015 election.
The Berwick MP Sir Alan Beith has given a cautious welcome to the statement by Danny Alexander, despite the bitter disappointment for campaigners who had hoped for the dualling of the A1 in Northumberland.
The Chief Secretary to the Treasury gave details of government spending on road and rail projects, but has ordered only a feasibility study for the A1 north of Newcastle.