Defiant Ashfield District Council has refuted fresh criticism over its commitment to protecting wildlife at the troubled King’s Mill Reservoir in Sutton.
The Reach Out for Animal Rights (ROAR) group has launched a scathing attack on the council’s failure to set up CCTV cameras at the reservoir and nature reserve.
The group accuses Ashfield of ignoring more than 112,000 people who have now signed a petition calling for the cameras, and better management of the site, after the shocking deaths earlier this year of several swans at the King’s Mill lake.
“No rational reason has been given by a council that deploys CCTV cameras elsewhere, yet does not consider them to be of sufficient use to install them at King’s Mill Reservoir,” said ROAR spokesman David Sommerville. “The council has failed to deliver.”
However, the council this week reiterated that it is taking seriously all problems relating to King’s Mill, which it owns. These include blue-algae poisoning, which has sunk all water-related activites this summer, as well as the deaths of swans.
“We previously invited a representative from ROAR to become a member of the King’s Mill Reservoir partnership group, but has not received a response to that request,” said an Ashfield spokesman.
“This issues raised have previously been considered and a response given. We have no further comment to make, but will continue to work with all stakeholders who wish to work constructively with us in supporting King’s Mill Reservoir.”
ROAR feels CCTV, and also permament warning-signs, would deter poachers, suspected of slaughtering swans for their meat.
The group also wants the council to remove rubbish from the King’s Mill lake and go ahead with possible plans to spend £400,000 on dredging the reservoir.
“The polluted water was a contributing factor to the 14 swans that died of botulism in late April and early May,” said Mr Sommerville, who lives in Pleasley.