Hundreds of frustrated residents from Rainham vented their anger over more than a decade of inaction to prevent repeated fires plaguing a former landfill site.

On July 28, around 200 people joined together at the La Salette Catholic Social Club to discuss the ongoing issue of fires at Launders Lane.

The site was recently branded a “volcano...that spews out toxic fumes on a daily basis” after the London Fire Brigade (LFB) confirmed it had attended more than 70 fires at the site since 2018.

Leader of Havering Council, Cllr Ray Morgon, said the issue “has blighted the lives” of residents for many years was one he heard of “first hand” last week in the meeting.

He said although the council and Environment Agency (EA) have taken action over the years, it has been difficult to achieve “the desired outcome...partly due to change in landowners”.

Cllr Morgon said the local authority will work with the relevant bodies, Dagenham and Rainham MP Jon Cruddas and councillors to “see what other action can be taken to make people feel safer”.

Mr Cruddas and Beam Park ward councillors - mayor of Havering Cllr Trevor McKeever and Cllr Matt Stanton - have called on the council to take enforcement action over the issue and conduct regular air quality monitoring to address health concerns.

They also asked the EA to carry out water quality testing.

Cllr Morgon said specialists will monitor pollution levels in and around the site, take samples to understand “the types of materials underground”, and test the fishing lake to check for water contamination.

He said: “We are looking at moving a fire hydrant so it is easier for the LFB to manage the fires, although, currently, they are not causing physical danger to local people.”

In addition to this, the EA will “check and follow-up on a court order issued in 2017 to determine what legal powers now exist”, he said.

Cllr Morgon said Havering Council will do “all it can” to help, but noted the problem is “complicated and won’t be easy to resolve” because it is private land.

He said it may be “some time before and if a final solution is found”.