Issue - meetings

Meeting: 06/10/2023 - Cabinet (Item 35)

35 Matters Referred to the Cabinet by the Council - A.3 - E-Petition: 'Brightlingsea Stench' pdf icon PDF 66 KB

To formally report the receipt of an e-petition submitted requesting that Tendring District Council carries out a further investigation into the phenomenon of the ‘Brightlingsea Stench’.




(a)    Mr. Court be thanked for his e-petition; and


(b)   the Environment Portfolio Holder’s written comments regarding the e-petition be endorsed as Cabinet’s formal response to Mr. Court’s e-petition.


Earlier on in the meeting, as reported under Minute 30 above, Councillor Barry had stated for the public record that he was a member of Brightlingsea Town Council.


Cabinet was informed that an e-petition submitted by Matthew Court, as lead petitioner, had been received on 31 August 2023. The e-petition had been active in the period from 1 August to 31 August 2023 and had been validly signed by 110 persons. It stated:-


“We the undersigned petition the Council to:-


   Immediately reopen the investigation into the persistent stench issue in Brightlingsea.

   Engage external environmental experts, if necessary, to support and expedite the investigation into the source and nature of the problem.

   Provide regular, transparent updates to the public on the progress of the investigation, findings, proposed solutions, and expected timelines.

   Actively coordinate with the Environment Agency and any other relevant authorities to advocate for the needs of Brightlingsea residents and seek their intervention if required.

     Implement temporary measures to mitigate the impact of the stench on the residents of Brightlingsea while a long-term solution is being found.

   Form a community task force, including residents, council members, and experts, to ensure direct community participation in the ongoing efforts to resolve this issue.

   Carry out a comprehensive assessment to understand the potential health impacts of the stench on Brightlingsea's residents.”


The petitioners’ stated justification for this e-petition was that:-


“The persistent stench that has plagued the residents of Brightlingsea for over a year is more than just a nuisance; it's a matter of public health, well-being, and the quality of life for every person living and working in the affected area, including the school which has its main playing field nearby. It has turned what should be a pleasant environment into a place where people cannot even open their windows or spend time outside without discomfort.


The initial investigation by Tendring District Council was a step in the right direction, but the premature closure of the investigation without finding a source or solution is deeply disappointing and frankly, unacceptable. This decision gives the impression of a council that is either unable or unwilling to fully address the problem, which is a disservice to the people it is supposed to represent and protect.


This e-Petition is not just about the stench; it's about the role of Tendring District Council and councillors as our elected representatives. It's about how we, as a community, expect our concerns to be addressed, our voices to be heard, and our wellbeing to be prioritised. The actions listed in this petition reflect those expectations.


We understand that finding a solution may not be easy or immediate, but we insist that the council take these necessary steps, engage with the necessary bodies, utilise all available resources, and provide the leadership and representation that Brightlingsea needs and deserves. We look forward to seeing a renewed effort from the Council in tackling this ongoing issue and restoring the quality of life in  ...  view the full minutes text for item 35