Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

Motion from Lancashire on regulation of industries affecting public health

All council motions articles
Monday, 14th September, 2015

This motion from the Liberal Democrat Group on Lancashire County Council specifically relates to their recent Cryptosporidium outbreak, but may be useful for council groups in other areas.  The motion specifically draws attention to the need for better regulation of major industries whose activities can affect public health, and links in to the proposed awarding of licenses to drill for oil and gas in the area.

The second paragraph of this motion was an amendment from the Labour Group, however the motion as a result was passed by the council despite our group being in opposition.


Over the last few weeks we have witnessed United Utilities struggle to contain an outbreak of Cryptosporidium.  Apart from the obvious public health risk, this has led to business damage and great inconvenience for over 300,000 residents in Lancashire.  The prolonged period for which this situation has continued appears to have been due to a failure of inspection and regulatory procedures and an apparently inadequate contingency plan for dealing with such an outbreak.

Lancashire County Council recognises the work of the multi-agency strategic coordination group that is chaired by Lancashire County Council’s Director of Public Health and includes a number of district councils and government departments. This Council further recognises the work of LCC’s Emergency Planning and Public Health Teams in preventing any major sickness outbreaks.

Lancashire County Council therefore instructs the Chief Executive to write to the Prime Minister, the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, the Minister for Health and to the Minister for Energy and Climate Change drawing their attention to the inadequacy of regulation in major industries, particularly in the light of the 14th round of onshore oil and gas licence awards covering much of England. We also request that Central Government should put in place rigorous, independent regulatory and inspection regimes for industries which affect Public Health, above all improved purification of domestic water supplies, and the treatment and disposal of contaminated waste water.

ALDC Administrator