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Guildford Street site still seriously contaminated eight years after a 40,000 litre petrol spill

Liberal Democrats accuse the Council of being too timid and say they are running away from an opportunity to put pressure on BP to clean up potentially lethal contamination. The Council’s Liberal Democrat opposition leader says the key Labour Executive member has no real understanding of the issue.

“It is frightening to think the future safety of Luton’s water supply is in the hands of a man who hasn’t a clue about just how dangerous the Guildford Street contamination will become if it is not urgently cleaned up.” says Liberal Democrat leader David Franks.

“On 30th March this year Councillor Worlding and I attended a presentation in which BP confirmed what they had told us in 2007 – they are not doing any serious remediation work”

“Only two minutes after he had been told that, Councillor Worlding asked how long it would be before the site was completely clean. He asked whether it would be six months or more than six months. Either he was not listening to what we were being told or completely failed to understand what is going on.”

“There was a perfectly good reason why the Council took no action against BP before July 2007. Up to then BP were telling us the work they were doing on the site was gradually clearing up the contamination. Only on 18th July 2007 did BP admit this was not true at all and since 2001 all they had been doing was ‘containment’. Councillor Worlding’s portfolio includes responsibility for the environment and he has done nothing about this issue since he and his colleagues were told about it in July 2007. He didn’t understand how serious it was then and he clearly has no better understanding now. Why has the Labour administration left this man in his job?”

“BP were responsible for the 40,000 litre petrol spill and they should be made to clean it up. It’s his job to make sure they do and sadly he’s not up to the task.”

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