“Desperately seeking stench solution” The Speaker

It appears that summer has come early, but the sunny weather of late has not been enjoyed by many of my constituents.

With the sun and summer heat, the year-long smell from Seafield Waste Water Treatment Works becomes even more unbearable- a smell that continues to plague communities throughout the constituency. Local residents have raised concerns over the smells of sewage and burning rubber coming from the water works for many years.

And with the recent hot weather, I have had many complaints from constituents that the smell has been worse than usual.

This is an issue that myself and my SNP colleague Ben Macpherson, in whose constituency the treatment works is situated, both take seriously- I know that he has met with local residents to speak with them, while I attend stakeholder meetings when I can, and when I am unable to, a staff member from my office attends in my place.

It is clear that locals continue to feel like there has been a slow reaction to their concerns regarding the water works and I share my constituents’ concerns that their voices are not being listened to and that not enough has been done to tackle the odours coming from the water works.

A £20m odour plan was introduced in 2011, but it has not been as effective as was hoped in its aims to reduce odours. Residents are continuing to report complaints of horrendous smells coming from the water works throughout the year.

I am also concerned by reports of a lack of communication between Scottish Water, Veolia Water and local residents. This has contributed to locals feeling concerns of locals are not being heard by the companies concerned.

There have been concerns over the way complaints were being dealt with but I am encouraged that this feedback has now taken on board. It is essential that we have a situation where all parties play their part in identifying and addressing the issue.

I hope that moving forward steps can be taken to restore local community confidence in the ongoing process to solve this issue and that real progress can be made to eliminate the odours coming from the plant before the summer months. It is completely unfair that families are unable to enjoy the hot weather in their gardens because of the smells.

I have written to the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Roseanna Cunningham MSP, concerning this and I will continue to work on this issue with stakeholders to ensure that progress is made. As ever, I advise my constituents to continue to report any problems they have with odours from the water works to Edinburgh City Council on 01312002000 and publichealth@edinburgh.gov.uk.

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