AM claims new probe into Flintshire factory will not go deep enough

Reporter:

Helen Davies

AN Assembly Member who has supported calls for an investigation into cancer fears surrounding a Flintshire cement factory has claimed it will not go far enough.

North Wales AM Mark Isherwood wrote to health minister Edwina Hart last month, backing a request from Penyffordd Community Council for an investigation into health risks from the dust fall-out zone of the Hanson Cement factory in Padeswood.

Mrs Hart has said she will launch an official probe but Mr Isherwood, whose daughter Charlotte was diagnosed with thyroid cancer at the age of 19, has said the investigation might not be suitable.

He said: "The health minster's response falls short of a commitment to a full, impartial and transparent investigation and I will be responding to her accordingly.

"Surely we need to start with data on the incidence, nature and spread of cancers in both surrounding localities and the further plume grounding area for kiln emissions.”

He added: “It is essential that we establish whether cancer clusters exist, where they are and their cause."

"It must be in the interest of both local people and Hanson Cement to get to the bottom of this once and for all."

Penyffordd community councillor Colin Bithell told the Leader he was pleased with Mrs Hart’s decision to launch an investigation, but that she needed to give the community further details.

He said: “The letter was the first indication we’ve had from the government that that they were prepared to look into it. I don’t want to be too negative at this stage because I don’t know how far the investigation will go.”

The cement firm has previously said it would welcome the investigation as an opportunity to disprove cancer claims.

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