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Kirklees Council to foot bill for Lockwood tip fire

Cabinet said they hoped to recoup some money from prosecutions and from the Environment Agency

Contractors helping firefighters at the tip last Sunday
Contractors helping firefighters at the tip last Sunday

The council is set to foot the bill for the massive Lockwood tip fire.

Clr Naheed Mather, portfolio holder for housing and enforcement management, made the admission at a cabinet meeting on September 20.

She did not reveal what the cost would be to remove the waste from the controversial former Hunter Group site but said that the council would try recoup some of the money.

The fire broke out on August 19 and the smoke has caused misery to local residents and businesses.

A report made for the meeting said the site was sub-let in 2013 to Sam Hunter and his company Hunter Group Yorkshire Ltd.

Clr Mather said: “We have done as much as we can with other agencies such as the Environment Agency to get to the source of the fire and safeguard residents.

“It is going to cost the council money it can ill afford.

“We will do whatever we can to recoup costs.

“We want those responsible to be prosecuted so we can claim costs from them but it won’t be the full costs.

“We need the Government to give the Environment Agency more teeth in situations like this or give us the money to cover the clean up.”

Clr David Sheard, council leader, added: “What happened to the site is absolutely appalling and we’ve got to stop it from happening elsewhere.”

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