Milton Keynes Council drafts in extra staff to clamp down on fires

Burnt clothes in Pendeen Crescent, Snelshall East (Tattenhoe)
Burnt clothes in Pendeen Crescent, Snelshall East (Tattenhoe)

Milton Keynes Council have drafted in extra staff to clamp down on fires that are causing residents to worry.

MK Council has said it will use powers under the Environmental Protection Act after more than 40 residents from the west of MK contacted MKC about unpleasant smelling smoke from nearby fires.

MKC has been working closely with Thames Valley Police and Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service to track the source and take action.

As most reports are for fires burning overnight, starting yesterday MKC’s enforcement and environmental health officers have volunteered to be on call around the clock to visit sites with police and serve abatement notices under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. These are punishable with a £5,000 fine.

Council leader Pete Marland said: “We’ve put our teams on standby as we’re determined to catch the people setting these fires. It’s not an acceptable situation – residents are telling us they’re worried the smoke is dangerous and they’re keeping windows shut despite the heat at night.

“We’re working closely with the police to gather evidence to investigate who is starting the fires and to determine what’s being burned at each site.”

“We’ve found evidence of fires on Pendeen Crescent in Tattenhoe and we’re checking material found onsite with specialist advisors.

Until then, please keep windows and doors closed if you smell unpleasant smoke and please report any suspected criminal activity to the police, and any fires to the fire service.”

If you have health concerns relating to smoke inhalation, please speak to your GP for advice or dial NHS 111 if you are experiencing problems out of normal surgery hours.