Agenda and minutes

SecAnim (J L Thomas) Liaison Group - Wednesday 12th October 2016 5.30 pm

Venue: Bad Homburg Room, Civic Centre, Paris Street, Exeter

Contact: Jo Quinnell, Assistant Democratic Services Officer (Committees)  Telephone 01392 265197 or email

No. Item


Election of Chair


Councillor Hannan was appointed as Chair.




Apologies were received from Councillor Hannaford (Portfolio Holder Place), Rob Sargent (SecAnim) and John Staddon (Residents Representative).


Notes of meeting held on 13 April 2016 pdf icon PDF 77 KB


The notes of the meeting held on 13 April 2016 were agreed as a correct record.


Process update


Nick Parsons reported that production volumes remained stable and were in line with 2016 forecasts.  The operational reliability continued to be good with no significant plant breakdowns, and the process operations continued to be predominantly carried out at night.


The new air condenser was commissioned in June 2016, is now fully operational and proving to be very efficient and reliable.  Nick Parsons advised that the confidence that they have in the new system has allowed the site to remove the wet cooling tower so there will be no visible wet plume from the site.  In addition, a significant amount of redundant equipment has been removed from the internal process areas which has improved the aesthetics in the area.


The No. 2 boiler has been fitted with a new fan and duct which has improved the containment of non condensable gases and provided improved reliability of the boiler.


In terms of future works, removal of the current internal activated sludge tank would take place and it will be replaced with a new larger tank, which will treat the effluent to a better quality. This work will take approximately four weeks commencing on 22 October and will result in a temporary production reduction during this time.  Tonnage will be diverted to the SecAnim plant at Widnes and effluent will be tankered off site. These works are not anticipated to impact upon the site’s environmental performance and good communication with the City Council would continue throughout.


It was anticipated that residents would not see an obvious change during these works.  The tankers would pass through Water Lane, but there would be a reduction in the volume being processed.  Tankers would be sealed.


No other works were currently scheduled.


As some background for the new Members on the Group, Nick Parsons gave a brief description of the rendering process. Councillor Sills referred to a recent visit he had made to the plant which he found extremely useful.  Councillor Foale was invited to undertake a site visit.


Complaints received since the last meeting pdf icon PDF 139 KB

Additional documents:


The report attached to the agenda detailed complaints made since the last meeting and the results of any investigations.


A complaints summary was circulated (attached) which detailed comparisons for each quarter back to 2002.  The reduction in complaints since 2014 had been maintained.


One additional complaint had been received since the distribution of the agenda which was detailed on the summary.


The number of complaints received by complainant and road were noted and each complainant is given a number, eg resident C1 in Glenwood Rise has made a complaint on three occasions.


Days on which there were more than one complaint had also been listed to assist in identifying any issues.


Reference was made to the complaint regarding vehicles and concerns over the potential impact of spillages from vehicles.  A spillage had occurred in 2013 but none since that time.  Odour or spillages on the highway is not covered by any Environmental Health legislation.  Trading Standards have a regulatory role in this area.


Any spillage will be odourous and a slip hazard, but is not dangerous unless ingested. Nick Parsons advised that the factory will always respond to an incident and emergency spill kits are held on site.


Drivers will be fully aware if a spillage occurs and will not leave the area until a team is on site to manage the spill.  A tracking system and CCTV is installed in all SecAnim vehicles and this shows that there is a consistently high standard of driving in the company’s own fleet.


The company work with the other haulage companies who deliver to the site to manage any impacts on the local population. For example deliveries are timed so they are not kept waiting to access the plant, and to reduce any time spent in queueing traffic.


There are concerns over access to the factory following an increase in parked cars on the highway and which can block the road. The Highways Department has been advised but no action has been taken to date.


Vehicle complaints are mainly in relation to odours rather than noise. Vehicles are disinfected within the factory as required by DEFRA legislation. 


Following a complaint made on 23 August, an investigation at the factory identified a bursting disk on the new air condenser ducting had failed. The plant was shut down until the repair was made. The maintenance system has been changed as a result of the incident.


Discussion was held on whether many complaints were made directly to the ward councillors and residents’ representatives. One representative had received only one complaint as a result of canvassing. The other representative present advised that an article had been placed in a neighbourhood magazine but few complaints had come forward as a result. The residual treatment tower odour is likely to be the odour that residents detect.


Every effort is made to investigate and respond to complaints in a timely manner.  Complainants were encouraged to telephone as any emails may not be picked up immediately.  Any calls made to  ...  view the full minutes text for item 10.


Any other business


There was no other business.


Date of next meeting - Wednesday 29 March 2017 at 5.30pm


The date of the next meeting was noted.