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Support in place for residents suffering from landfill odour

Help is available for people suffering from the continued stress and strain of dealing with the bad smell in parts of Newcastle.

Residents experiencing anxiety, depression or sleeplessness can contact a range of people able to offer support and advice.

Alan White, Leader of Staffordshire County Council, said: “We know from residents’ responses to our daily symptom tracker that headaches and sleeplessness are two of the biggest problems for residents living near Walleys Quarry.

“Cumulatively these issues add up and we know the strain people are feeling wondering what it will be like when they return home from work or going to be bed at night but thinking the smell might wake them.

“I would urge anyone feeling anxious or depressed as a result of this to contact the help that is available locally.”

Residents in the Newcastle area can contact:

  • Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline at any time on 0808 800 2234 or text 07860 022821;
  • North Staffordshire Mind on 01782 262100;
  • Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent Wellbeing Service (IAPT) with self-referral available online or by telephone 0300 303 0923;
  • North Staffordshire Urgent Mental Health helpline (and Crisis Care centre in Stoke) on 0300 123 0907.

Dr Naveed Syed, health protection consultant with Public Health England (PHE) Midlands, said: “We appreciate the ongoing situation is very distressing for people and it is important to acknowledge that this kind of persistent, unpleasant odour can affect people’s mental wellbeing; contributing to stress, anxiety and problems sleeping. This is why we would urge those affected to seek support if they feel they need it.”

Dr Syed added: “Based on the current data up to the end of April, any risk to long-term physical health is likely to be small, however we would stress that we cannot completely exclude a risk to health from pollutants in the area. We are working with public health partners in Staffordshire to review monitored data from emissions in the area around the Walleys Quarry Landfill site, and helping to analyse information from the local authority’s smell and symptom tracker – which we urge people to fill in as often as appropriate.

“We know that some people are experiencing feelings of nausea, headaches and some irritation to nose, throat and eyes. Individuals with pre-existing respiratory conditions may be more susceptible to these effects. If people have any health concerns, they should contact their local GP or ring NHS111.”

The Leader of Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council, Simon Tagg, said: “We know that residents are suffering on a daily basis and that the situation is affecting people’s physical and mental health. Nausea, sore eyes, insomnia and stress are not acceptable - or normal - as a side-effect from a landfill site.

“If your physical or mental health is being affected, please seek support. Please also use the tracker survey as this will help us correlate data for evidence and information.

“I want to assure residents that we are taking every step we possibly can to hold Walleys Quarry Limited to account for the terrible impact it is having on our communities.”

The daily symptom tracker is gathering evidence to allow more detailed analysis about the number of people affected, the health problems they are experiencing and they correlate with air quality data. It can be found here .

 

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