Wiltshire Publications

Westbury residents want action against fly infestation

THE next stage of testing at the waste treatment plant on the Northacre Industrial Estate has been delayed, while measures are taken to reduce the number of flies at the site. 

The Environment Agency has received more than 80 complaints from the public about a recent fly infestation problem in Westbury and it is investigating the ‘possible source or sources’ of the problem.

Hills Waste Solutions say that, although the infestation of flies in Westbury is likely to come from a number of sources, they admit the new Northacre Resource Recovery Centre on the industrial estate may be a ‘contributory factor’.

The company says,  “Hills has been notified of, and is directly aware of, increased fly populations at the Northacre Resource Recovery Centre (NRRC) and in surrounding locations. Following thorough investigations it is apparent that the NRRC is possibly one of the contributory factors – along with other potential sources – to the levels of flies in the vicinity. This issue has developed quickly and is being compounded by the very warm weather conditions currently being experienced.

“The NRRC has not been identified as the sole cause of this issue.  However, measures are in place to mitigate against any possible contribution that the site may have on fly numbers. The exceptional warm weather we are experiencing has played a significant part in the unusually high fly numbers.”

The Environment Agency, Hills, and Wiltshire Council all say they are investigating the problem.

Councils should have responded quickly

While fly paper and fly spray have been selling out at local shops, residents say they have seen little action from local councils to find an immediate way to ease the problem.

Resident Mike Cuthbert-Murray said, “I would have thought the area board would have called a meeting to discuss the problem and present the case from Hills. I would have thought the parish council could have caused an emergency meeting to help emergency measures, but they’ve been quite disappointing.”

Councillor Sue Ezra adds, “I notice that Wiltshire Council is being very quiet over the matter. Maybe if the people started to withhold their Council Tax we might get some actions. Wiltshire Council gave planning permission for the waste plant to be placed there, so let’s see some action.”

Short term measures

Hills is offering a supply of fly papers as a gesture of goodwill. Affected residents can call 07747 791386.

Wiltshire Council also offer the following advice; “Especially given the warm weather, we advise people to keep food covered and stored away in the fridge or cupboards. Be extra careful in covering meat, fruit and vegetables when preparing meals. Wrap all food before disposing of it in the bin and make sure the bin is covered with a well fitting lid, does not get too full and is emptied regularly.

“Fly papers and contact sprays are an effective way to deal with flies in the house. Keep windows, doors and curtains closed and use screens if they are available.”