Council to consider community fund to help Bromley affected residents

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
May 13, 2022 |

Don Gould chairs community meeting. / Photo: Sam Macdonald

The Christchurch City Council is considering “a package” to support Bromley residents battling health issues relating to the fire-damaged treatment plant.

Locals expressed their anger in a public meeting in Christchurch last night over the “unbearable and disgusting ”smells from the plant.

The meeting was organised by Bromley resident Caleb Saunderson who told Chris Lynch “we are a family who spends a lot of time outside with our 7-year-old and our 2-year-old, eating dinner, hanging out. We are no longer able to do this as the stench is so bad it makes our eyes water, and our throats sore. “

“We can no longer open our windows or hang our washing outside. The stench has permeated its way into our house and has now settled into the fabric of our curtains.”

Photo: Sam MacDonald

Caleb said the council was too slow to act. “It’s not fair, work should have begun as soon as the fire was out out. Instead all parties involved were more interested in protecting their own interests which halted progress, setting the whole clean up process back 6 months. It’s not good enough.”

Mayor responds to residents’ concerns

At last night’s meeting, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel said “now that we have a contract with Southern demolition, I can say that the intention is to have it cleared by the first week of spring. So that takes us into September. And the question is how do we get from where we are today to the first week of spring.”

Council’s head of Three Waters Helen Beaumont told the crowd “ the contractor is looking at arrangements to mist the material, to suppress dust but should also suppress odours.”

“There’s also the opportunity to add deodorising chemicals. But I cannot promise that both of those things will mean no odours.”

Bromley resident Tania asked council staff who was going to pay for her children’s doctor’ visits.

Dalziel responded: “these are the sorts of things that we want to hear from you tonight because that will enable us to get a package together that will support a variety of needs.”

Councillor Sam Macdonald said it was better to look at targeted funding for residents, rather than reduce rates because many affected residents were renting, and homeowners, who didn’t live in the area would be the ones to benefit.

On Tuesday, council will consider the creation of a community fund, to subsidise doctor’s visits ‘out of town’ vouchers and mental health support.

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

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