AUTHORITIES responsible for public health have rejected calls for a public meeting to allow residents to ask questions about the fire at Lawrence Recycling.

The Wyre Forest Green Party, Wyre Forest Friends of the Earth and Labour parliamentary spokesman Howard Martin have expressed concerns that authorities have not been transparent enough with information provided to the public following the fire at the Kidderminster plant.

Mr Martin believes a public meeting will help to convince people that there is nothing to be worried about but a Wyre Forest District Council spokeswoman said there were no plans to hold one.

A petition has also been launched by Sutton Park Road resident John Davies, calling for authorities to test for dioxins in the air, which might have been released into the atmosphere as a result of plastic burning.

Dr David Kirrage, a consultant with PHE’s West Midlands West health protection team, said the levels of chemicals released by the fire do not pose any significant short or long-term risk.

The petition has been adopted by the Green Party and has nearly 300 signatures from people concerned about harmful substances released by the fire, which was within large piles of baled-up commercial and household waste, including paper, cardboard and plastic.

A spokeswoman for Public Health England (PHE) said it was “not necessary” to test for dioxins and insisted that the authority was doing everything it should be doing.

As a response to the fire, the council has published answers to a number of questions on its website.

Mr Martin said: “The council seem to think that will answer my call for a question and answer session.

“We may well be overly concerned but until people are convinced that there is nothing to be concerned about, that will continue.”

Stephen Brown, parliamentary spokesman for the Wyre Forest Green Party, said he thought the council had just collated information that residents already knew.

He said: “It’s better than what was there but there is still not enough information. It doesn’t really move us forward.”

The council spokeswoman said: “We understand residents are concerned and we have been fielding many enquiries about the fire.

“The council and other partners have issued large amounts of information about the incident. At the moment there is nothing more to add and so there are no plans to hold a public meeting.”

The Green Party was collecting signatures for the petition house to house in Stourport yesterday as well as last weekend in Stourport High Street.

Dr Kirrage said: “The clear scientific advice, based on experience gained from numerous fires worldwide, states that, in relation to this fire the levels of such chemicals released over the time it has burnt - and may continue to burn - do not pose any significant short or long-term risk to the health of residents.”