ENVIRONMENTAL campaigners have hailed the first meeting of a newly-formed Burnley Wood action group a success.

Burnley’s Environmental Action Group was formed after residents were plagued by flies and rats, which they claim are attracted by recycling at Oxford Mill Waste Transfer Station, in Oxford Road.

Sheree Welsby, co-founder of the group, said the meeting went ‘really well’, but added that she felt ‘let down’ that none of the area’s ward councillors were in attendance. The Lancashire Telegraph reported in May how people living in Kay Gardens and Branch Road described the site as ‘not-fit-for-purpose’ after domestic waste started being bumped there.

Now the organisation has vowed to do everything it can to force the Environment Agency, Burnley Council, and Lancashire County Council to take action.

The permit to carry out waste operations at the site currently belongs to Hapton Trading Ltd, although it was believed the firm would stop working with household waste after discussions with Burnley MP Gordon Birtwistle.

But Miss Welsby, 43, said the problem continued to cause havoc for families in the area and she was unconvinced that workers at the mill had taken any action to solve the issue.

She said: “It went really well with about 25 people from all over Burnley Wood there. We are planning to get in touch with the Environment Agency and we will keep pestering them until the problem goes away.

“We’ve asked people to monitor what goes in and out of the building. We have still got the flies because they have not done anything to clean the place up, they’ve just closed the shutters so we can’t see it.

“County Coun Margaret Brindle was there but it was disappointing that none of the ward councillors were there.”

Coun Jeff Sumner said he had a prior engagement while fellow ward councillor Tracy Kennedy was working in Manchester.

Coun Sumner added that he would be happy to meet with the group in the future.

Frank Owen, a director at Hapton Trading Ltd, said: “There’s no smell and no pollution. Everything we do is within the planning rules and the permit we have. I met a group last month and said there would be no more bin waste and there isn’t – even though we’re licensed for that.

“They’re just trying to cause problems.”