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West Wales News Review — analysis with a sustainability slant

Archive for the tag “Llangadog”

Llangadog’s Recycling Centre to Close

Valued public service lost

Yet another blow for the people of north-east Carmarthenshire—Llangadog’s recycling centre is closing on March 31st

The centre, run by All Waste Services, achieved very high recycling rates, between 80% and 85% in 2014, when the county average was 55%. This was above the all-Wales target of 70% by 2025. When operating at its peak the centre provided some 10 jobs for local people. Opening hours were long and there seemed to be a bin for all types of waste, except for potentially hazardous items like asbestos roofing sheets.

Hefin Roberts, head of All Waste Services, said in 2016 that the operating budget was halved in 2013-14, and prices for recycled materials also dived, making it impossible for the centre to break even. He had been subsidising it personally, he said.

Discussions between All Waste Services and the county council have failed to reach an agreement, and on March 10th the council’s press office issued a statement saying from April 1st residents should take black bag and garden waste, electrical items, wood and other bulky items to the Wernddu site near Ammanford.

Wernddu is a dozen miles south west of Llangadog, which itself is 20 or so miles from the outer reaches of its catchment area.

The county council says it hopes to have some recycling bins at Llandovery Rugby Club by April 1st, but these would not accept many of the materials which have been deposited at Llangadog.

Maria Carroll, Labour’s candidate for Cilycwm in county council elections on May 4th, who takes a close interest in recycling services, said:

“It has always been the view of local people, who are dependent on this service, that a long term commitment to the provision of a Recycling Centre in north Carmarthenshire is needed. This did not happen and the [Llangadog] Centre has been subjected to a roller coaster ride of uncertainty and threat of closure. It seems we now find ourselves once more in the position that our Centre, which provides a highly regarded public service, is at risk of closure with little notice and with no public consultation.”

Closure means that fly tipping is likely to increase, with damaging impact on the environment and potentially on the important tourism industry. The loss of jobs is also troubling.

Demonstration at Llangadog’s recycling centre when it faced closure in 2014. Public pressure helped to keep it open, but now in 2017 the gates are likely to close for a final time in less than three weeks.  

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Rescue plan in reserve for threatened Llangadog recycling centre

Friday September 30 is decision day for Llangadog’s Household Waste Recycling Centre. If there’s no deal, no rescue plan on the table by then, it will close. Read about it in the Carmarthenshire Herald, September 23, pages 1 and 3

Rumours of the possible end-of-September closure of Llangadog’s household waste recycling centre have alarmed residents in north Carmarthenshire, for whom the centre is an important amenity.

The recycling centre serves some 20,000 people, who would face long journeys to alternative sites. The nearest recycling site to Llangadog is more than a dozen miles to the south-west at Wernddu near Ammanford.

The Llangadog centre is operated by All Waste Services Ltd, a private company headed by Mr Hefin Roberts.

Carmarthenshire County Council has a household waste recycling agreement  with All Waste Services. Back in 2014, when the contract was up for renewal, the then Director of Technical Services, Richard Workman, said a new contract at the prevailing rate of payment would be unaffordable. This was despite the fact that Llangadog’s recycling rate of 80%-85% was way above the county average of around 55%, and significantly above the EU target of 50% by 2020, and even above Wales’s target of 70% by 2025. The recycling centre also provided about 10 local jobs.

Public pressure, and intervention from Llangadog’s county councillor Andrew James, saved the day. A new deal was agreed, albeit on tougher terms. The centre no longer accepted certain types of waste, like paint and mattresses, and cut weekend opening to three hours on Saturday and Sunday mornings. But that has not been enough to ensure the centre’s future.

 

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Hefin Roberts (front) and Andrew James: uphill struggle

Emergency talks

Hefin Roberts spoke to The Herald yesterday (Sep 22). He said that negotiations with the county council were going well and he was hopeful an agreement could be reached. “I told the council that we had to have a new agreement in place by September 30,” he said, “or we would not be able to continue”. During the past two years, he has been personally subsidising the recycling centre, he said.

“We have to make sure it is a sustainable business,” he said. “Over the last couple of years it has been increasingly difficult to make ends meet. Back in 2013-14 our budget was cut in half. We streamlined, we had to reduce our staff. At the same time, prices for recycled commodities fell away, mainly because China stopped buying them. It now costs us to dispose of many commodities. For flat glass, for example, we have to pay a ‘gate fee’ to deliver to buyers, and if there is any contamination, we can be charged £100 a tonne on top.

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Demonstration at the Llangadog recycling centre in February 2014, when Carmarthenshire County Council was discussing closure. The centre stayed open, but with only half the previous budget.

“Waste wood can cost £65 a tonne to get rid of – at the moment nobody really wants it. As for scrap metal, we used to receive £120 to £130 a tonne, but that has gone down to £5 a tonne, and we have to pay a haulage charge, which means we earn nothing.

Mr Roberts pointed out that stockpiling commodities in the hope that prices might improve was not an option because of fire risk as well as lack of space.

At Carmarthenshire County Council, spokesperson Debbie Williams said the council is aware of the fears that the recycling centre might close.

“The Authority are in discussion with All Waste Services and will provide further information in due course”, she said.

 

Llanwrda activist launches rescue plan

Maria Carroll, of the Old Post Office shop in Llanwrda, and the Labour candidate in yesterday’s (September 22) Cilycwm by-election, told The Herald she has brought together a team, including local business people, to look at a rescue plan “if we cannot get the council to act”.

The recycling centre “has been running without a contract since 2014, under interim arrangements that were not brought before the full council,” said Maria. Without the security of a properly negotiated contract, the family operating the centre has borne the costs of maintaining the service, she explained.

A petition to keep the centre open can be signed in local shops, including the Old Post Office shop. The petition is also online at http://www.thepetitionsite.com/en-gb/572/697/743/demand-our-community-recycling-centre-serving-is-saved/

 

Waste recycling industry in recession

Since the deal to keep the Llangadog centre open in 2014, the waste business has suffered a recession. As Hefin Roberts explained, this means that operators like AWS receive less income from selling the commodities they recycle, indeed often make a loss. According to the Financial Times on August 23, “the fall in prices for recycled goods has put pressure on every part of the waste management industry”. The report, by Gill Plimmer, also said that the Kier Group, a construction and environmental services company in the FTSE 250 index, had announced that it would exit recycling after announcing in July that it expected to make a £33 million loss on the business in its final year of trading.

All Waste Services does not have to publish full accounts because it is a small company, but balance sheets at Companies House show a decline in the value of the business since 2011. Shareholders’ funds were then £822,267, but they fell in every following year, and the latest balance sheet, for the year to September 30 2015, states shareholders’ funds as £590,647, a fall of 28% in four years, and indicative of tough times in the industry.

PDR

Opposition to ‘free range’ chicken units highlights divide between farmers and public

It’s time for the ‘free range eggs’ labelling rules to be changed because — quite legally — ‘free range’ eggs now usually come from vast, intensive, indoor units which have exits so that some birds can get outside, but many never see daylight. Imagine you are at the centre of a dense crowd of 32,500 people: how easy would it be to reach the exit? See the Carmarthenshire Herald, September 9th 2016, p.3

Two 32,000 ‘free range’ chicken units are planned for the Tywi Valley in east Carmarthenshire. Their combined output could reach 20 million eggs a year.

One is for Mr Terry Davies on land north of Glanmyddyfi, Pentrefelin, Llandeilo, and the other is for T V Hughes & Co at Godre Garreg, off Carreg-Sawdde common, Llangadog.

Residents living nearby generally oppose the plans strongly, but other farmers and people and organisations connected with agriculture often give their support.

What is ‘free range’? Probably not what you think

The Llangadog application, for a unit of 32,000 hens, was submitted in September 2015 and validated on April 21 2016, but has not yet been determined by Carmarthenshire County Council’s planning committee. This scheme has attracted both large numbers of objections and letters of support – around 40 separate objections and almost as many expressions of support.

The unit, clad in green box profile, would be 140 metres long, 20 metres wide, 3.1 metres high to the eaves and 5.8 metres to the ridge line. There would be four feed hoppers, each 8.75 metres high.

Much of the objection centres on the industrial nature of the plan. Despite the permitted label ‘free range’, which suggests hens wandering wherever they want, these hens would be housed in layers in a large building where they are in theory free to move around, but as each hen has only a square foot or so of floor space, free movement is difficult. Nevertheless, the ‘free range’ label accords with current regulations.

For 32,000 ‘free range’ hens, outdoor space of 13 hectares (32 acres) is required, but there are no regulations to say how often the birds must be outside. During daylight hours there must be open ‘popholes’ in their building, but the greater the number of hens, the smaller the chance of them finding and using the ‘popholes’.

Inside a ‘free range’ egg-laying unit, the following rules apply, according to the RSPCA:

  • Each bird to have at least 250 sq cm (0.269 of a sq foot) of litter space.
  • No more than nine birds per square metre
  • 10 cm of feeder space for each bird
  • At least one drinker for every 10 birds
  • One nest for every seven birds, or 1 sq metre of nest space for every 120 birds
  • Water and feeding troughs must be raised off the ground

‘Free range’ eggs account for 47% of the 10.02 billion produced in the UK annually, according to the British Egg Information Service. That means between 192 million and 193 million free-range eggs produced every week. This number is too great to come from small flocks scratching about at leisure outdoors in the countryside.

Hens can normally live for 10 to 12 years, but their lifespan in a ‘free range’ unit is much shorter. Generally they are disposed of at 72 weeks, when the number of eggs they lay starts to wane.

Support for farm diversification

At Godre Garreg, the letters of support indicate that the egg unit would be run eventually by Aaron Hughes, an agricultural student at Coleg Sir Gar. Many of the letters on file in the county council’s planning department point out that the unit would enable him to stay on the family farm, which might otherwise not be able to support him. Mary Richards, assistant curriculum head, Department of Landbased Studies, Coleg Sir Gar, wrote that “Aaron epitomises what rural West Wales needs – a bright, enthusiastic, motivated, Welsh to the core young farmer”.

Both the farming unions, the NFU and the FUW, are in favour. David Waters, Carmarthenshire county executive officer for the FUW (Farmers Union of Wales), submitted that “It is imperative that potential employment opportunities are explored in all aspects of the rural economy and this proposed development ticks the boxes in many of these areas.”

The submission from the National Farmers Union’s group secretary in Llandeilo, G J Davies, said: “You will be aware that the farming industry continues to face formidable challenges with market volatility, high input prices and increasing regulation. In response to these challenges farmers have to grow, adapt and diversify their businesses so that they can remain viable. NFU Cymru would, therefore, emphasise the need for the planning system to support such development.”

Many of the scheme supporters are from beyond the Tywi valley, and represent other egg units, suppliers to the poultry industry, the veterinary sector, accountancy, and farmers arguing the necessity of diversification. The objectors are more local and fear environmental and economic damage that, in their view, outweighs the advantages for the Hughes family.

Pollution fears

Opponents of the scheme have worries about pollution, flooding, traffic, smell, waste disposal, and the impacts on landscape and wildlife.

Sir Edward Dashwood, representing the Golden Grove and Abercothi estates in the Tywi valley, is concerned about the risk of waste or other pollutants entering the nearby rivers. The unit would be located near the Tywi and its tributary the Sawdde, “both only a field or two away from the site”. Sir Edward points out that the Tywi valley is vulnerable to high rainfall and to flooding.

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Ty Newydd, Llangadog, a quiet spot for B&B, camping and caravanning — but the 32,500-bird unit, producing around 10 million eggs a year,  would be in the first field up the lane.

Derek and Lesley Stone, of Ty Newydd, Llangadog, had moved to their home, with a boundary only some eight metres from the proposed building, just six weeks before the planning application was submitted. They intended a B&B, camping and caravanning tourism enterprise. “With a development like this we fear that our business will not survive because of the visual impact of the unit, the smells and the noise, extra traffic over the common, not to mention the vermin,” they wrote to the planning department. They also said: “The unit will be right on our boundary and although in the planning application it states no property overlooks the unit, it can be seen from both of the rooms that we intend to use for our guests.”

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Ty Newydd and another property are on the left-hand side of the line of trees. The unit would extend through the low hedge in the foreground. 

Llangadog Community Council feels that the “current proposed location for a poultry unit of this size and scale is inappropriate due to its close proximity to several neighbouring properties” and has worries about noise, smell and visual amenity.

Llandeilo county councillor Edward Thomas is concerned that “32,000 birds would be producing large amounts of livestock manure and there is a danger that if there are not enough safeguards that this manure could enter the Tywi and cause pollution problems along the length of the river”.

Local county councillor Andrew James is requesting that the application be called in for consideration by the whole planning committee.

More manure management questions

On the other side of the Tywi on farmland north of Glanmyddyfi, Pentrefelin, off the A40 just beyond the Cottage Inn, two miles west of Llandeilo, Mr Terry Davies has applied a second time for a 32,000 bird unit, to add to one at Llanfynydd for which he received permission in 2011.

The building would be 73 metres long and 39.5 metres wide, with two feed silos and eight exhaust air stacks. Manure from the birds would be spread every four days. Changes to the junction of the lane from Glanmyddyfi at the main A40 would be necessary, to allow for large vehicles coming and going.

The application, dated June 30 and validated on August 11, has drawn several objections. Mr Rhys Phillips, living at Pentrefelin near the proposed site, argues that “the increased traffic will use the narrow lanes servicing Capel Isaac and will enter and exit at the A40 junction”. He continues: “This will be expected to accommodate the transport of 210,000 eggs a week and allow about 32 tons of feed in.”

Each year some 1,344 tons of excreta would be produced, Mr Phillips calculated. Most would be removed and spread elsewhere, but between 2.5 and 5.5 tonnes a week would remain, creating “enormous pollution potential”, in Mr Phillips’ view, because “it is on a flood plain which slopes towards the Afon Myddyfi about five metres away from the site”. The Myddyfi flows into the Tywi just over a mile distant.

Natural Resources Wales is not happy. “We have significant concerns regarding the proposal as submitted and consider that there is currently insufficient information to assess the potential impacts on protected sites and the management of manure from the proposed unit. We require this additional information before we can provide you with detailed comments on the application,” commented Jonathan Scott, team leader in the Development Planning section, in his submission to the planning authority.

Both the Llangadog and Glanmyddyfi units could each produce between nine and 10 million eggs a year, possibly more. The boost to agricultural productivity is real and valuable to farmers, but also damaging to community relations, to nearby tourism enterprises, and possibly to the environment too.

PDR

Mass Protest on Wild Wet Friday against Closure of Llangadog Recycling Centre

When a crowd of over seventy people protest in the open on a soaking, windy Friday afternoon you know the issue is serious. The issue is Carmarthenshire County Council’s intention to end its contract with the recycling centre run by All Waste Services (AWS) at Llangadog. As well as giving a public service, the recycling centre provides about 10 local jobs.

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Section of the protest to support the AWS recycling centre at Llangadog, during the stormy afternoon of February 14th

The council claims it cannot afford to renew the contract, which is for the Llangadog site to provide a centre where residents can bring almost all types of rubbish. Between 80% and 85% of that rubbish is recycled, but in contrast, the average recycling rate in Carmarthenshire is only about 53%.

The Llangadog centre is the most efficient in the county, and the only one not operated by CWM Environmental, a company which the county council owns.  Closure would force residents to make round trips 25 to 40 miles longer, if they opted for the nearest sites near Ammanford or at Nantycaws, Carmarthen.

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Three placards say it all!

The protest, attended by children from Llangadog School, parents, environmentalists and others who regard recycling as an essential public service, was accompanied by three police officers.

Llangadog’s county councillor Andrew James told the demonstration that the centre served 20,000 people, and that closure was opposed by many including the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority. Fly tipping would result, with consequential damage to wildlife and the environment, he said.

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Four with one message: Hefin Roberts, owner of AWS, thanks the demonstrators. Councillor Andrew James is behind, organiser Theresa Haine is in the yellow jacket, and Llangadog’s vicar, Rev. Michael Cottam, is left of picture

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Children from Llangadog School are keen to show that recycling is an important issue for them

Theresa Haine, who with Christiana Heidler organised the protest, and who was recently honoured by the Madagascan government for her charity work, said to general approval that cutting just one senior officer post at the county council would make a big contribution to keeping the centre open.

Money for New Traffic Scheme in Quiet Rural Village, but Not Enough Cash to Keep Excellent Recycling Centre Open? Council’s Odd Priorities

Solutions in search of a problem?  The changes to Llangadog under consideration by Carmarthenshire County Council, for “safety” and “enhancement” include triple traffic lights, restricted parking, pedestrian crossing points, and narrowing of the roadway.

Yesterday, the county council thoughtfully staged an exhibition of the five separate options drawn up for them by design consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff, a US firm acquired by the UK’s Balfour Beatty construction and infrastructure group in 2009. Parsons Brinckerhoff are not exactly local but they do have an office in Cardiff, which is one of their more than 150 offices on five continents.

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The exhibition was well-attended by local people taking a close interest in the proposals

“Why do this?” I wondered, thinking about the costs of ‘safety and enhancement’ works in the village of Llangadog, which is neither a notorious accident blackspot not overwhelmed with traffic jams. During the 25+ years of my frequent trips to and through this historic village, which comes complete with its own council-designated Conservation Area, I have on several occasions had to wait a few seconds for a bus or big van to make its way down Church Street, but have never experienced a significant delay. When crossing the road, I have never thought ‘When will this traffic ever stop?’

The exhibition was accompanied by a questionnaire, asking residents to rank, from 1 to 5, the most serious traffic-related problems in the village, from a list of 13. The questionnaire is, in my view, changing the normal day-to-day issues of traffic flow into ‘problems’ requiring (probably expensive) remedial works.

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The questionnaire invites residents to rank the five most serious traffic problems

The first of the five options began with doing the ‘minimum’ – less on-street parking, narrowing the roadway to 5.5 metres, putting in three pedestrian crossing points, extending throughout the village the 20mph speed restriction which currently applies outside the primary school, and improving the pavements.

Another option adds priority direction road signs for vehicles between the community hall and the village centre, where the road is narrow. Two more options include traffic signals at three locations, one set on each of the three roads into the village, and zero parking or loading in the village centre. The final option is for ‘shared space’, the roadway level with pedestrian paths, and no parking in the centre of the village.

Obviously views on the proposals will be varied, from ‘good ideas’ to ‘waste of money’, and in this respect the effort that has already gone into preparing the plans suggests that this is not a money-saving exercise. The Welsh Government is providing finance, via the Local Government Borrowing Initiative. It does seem strange that traffic management in Llangadog has been given such high priority when, a few hundred yards down the road, the same council has said it cannot afford to renew its waste recycling contract with All Waste Services, the local business which accepts domestic waste and which recycles between 80% and 85% of the ‘rubbish’ it receives, a rate far better than the Carmarthenshire average of 53% in the final three months of 2012.

Could there be a connection between the ongoing works to strengthen the bridge over the river Sawdde, between Llangadog and Felindre, and the proposed ‘safety and enhancement’ works in the centre of Llangadog? Could the county council be preparing for significant extra traffic through Llangadog and on through Felindre and Bethlehem, down to Ffairfach?

Lorries, may be? Buses? School buses…..?

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Plan showing one option for ‘safety and enhancement’ works in Llangadog, Carmarthenshire

by Pat Dodd Racher

Letter to County Council Opposing Closure of Recycling Centre

UPDATE February 3rd 2014

Mr Richard Workman, Director of Technical Services with Carmarthenshire County Council, has replied speedily to the letter below. His response, no doubt written within the constraints of  council protocols, indicates that the protection of ‘excellent’ services, like the Llangadog recycling centre, has a low priority when meeting the government’s minimum recycling targets is all that is required.

The recycling rate at Llangadog is 80%-85%. Mr Workman writes: “We [Carmarthenshire County Council] recycle in excess of 55% of what we collect which is above the government target.”

Cutting services to accord with the legal minimum is a sad outcome for a council which has spent so heavily on ‘prestige’ projects of little benefit to residents across the county, projects like Parc y Scarlets and East Gate in Llanelli,and the golf course at Garnant. [ See the council’s statement of accounts for 2012-13 for detail on spending and borrowing.]

Mr Workman writes that the council’s recycling contract with AWS at Llangadog is coming to an end and also that “the current rates for the contract are simply unaffordable”.

He does not comment on the costs of dealing with waste and fly-tipping should the Llangadog centre close, nor on the service deprivation faced by residents in the north-east of the county.

It was good of Mr Workman to reply so quickly, but the letter indicates that from now on, merely meeting government recycling targets will be enough, and that the quest for excellence will be rejected as too costly.

The tone of his reply accords with the warning from Lord (Chris) Smith, chair of the Environment Agency, that it will not be possible, given the funds available, to protect both town and country from the damaging impacts of flooding.

The absence of money, across Britain, for fundamentals such as waste recycling and flood prevention makes Carmarthenshire’s commitments to unnecessary construction projects seem all the more bizarre.

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To Mr Kevin Madge (Labour), Leader of Carmarthenshire County Council

Copy to Mr Richard Workman, Director of Technical Services

Dear Mr Madge

Llangadog Amenity Recycling Site

The intention to close the Llangadog Amenity Recycling Site, run by All Waste Services, alarms residents of North East Carmarthenshire, evidenced by more than 620 names on a petition, by January 23rd, and the attendance of some 140 people at two meetings called at short notice. The site achieves recycling rates of 80%-85% and thus performs a vital service, and is an example to other sites.

The argument that residents should transport their rubbish to Wernddu, Ammanford, or to Nantycaws near Carmarthen, is wasteful in terms of vehicle emissions, not to mention time and cost. Neither is it possible to place more rubbish out for collection, apart from paper, cardboard and tins in blue bags, because we are limited to two black bags a fortnight, and in addition materials like batteries, old light bulbs, metal, wood, and hard plastics should not be put in black bags but need to be recycled safely with minimal environmental damage.

If you close the Llangadog site, I think it inevitable that fly tipping will increase and that the overall rate of recycling in the county will decline, contrary to the requirements of regulations.

There is very strong feeling on this issue, especially since so many other services – notably primary schools and the comprehensive school in Llandovery – are being removed from this part of the county. This is a vicious spiral in which service closure accelerates the outward flight of young adults, on whom the future depends.

Yours sincerely

Pat Dodd Racher

Llansawel

Hard Up Council Pushes to Close Top Class Recycling Centre

The popular, efficient recycling centre in Llangadog, run by All Waste Services Ltd and achieving recycling rates of 80% to 85%, has failed to impress Carmarthenshire County Council, which has singled it out for closure.

The centre is a boon for the people in the north and north-east of the county, who would otherwise face round trips of 40 or 50 miles to dispose correctly of metal, wood, batteries, many plastics, textiles, garden waste, electrical appliances and fittings, old furniture, and other substances which should not be put out for roadside collection in bags coloured black (non-recyclables) or blue (clean paper, card and a limited range of recyclable items).

The contract between All Waste Services, run by Hefin Roberts, and the county council, expires at the end of March, and the council’s plan is just to let it lapse, reckoning that closure will save it £250,000 a year. Coincidentally, this is the same as the unnecessary annual sum to which the council has committed itself to occupy offices in East Gate, Llanelli, offices which it does not need.

Eighty concerned residents spent almost two hours at the meeting last night in Llangadog, opposing Carmarthenshire County Council's plans to close the recycling centre serving the north and north-east of the county.  Here they are listening to Hefin Roberts of site operators All Waste Services

Eighty concerned residents spent almost two hours at the meeting last night in Llangadog, opposing Carmarthenshire County Council’s plans to close the recycling centre serving the north and north-east of the county. Here they are listening to Hefin Roberts of site operators All Waste Services

Yesterday, January 23rd, saw two public meetings in Llangadog, organised by Llangadog’s county councillor Andrew James (Independent) and at which he and Mr Roberts spoke. The audience voiced incomprehension, as well as annoyance, about the closure. Everyone who spoke at the second meeting, attended by 80 or so people, was opposed to the council’s plan, for many reasons:

  • Closure would result in fly tipping, expensive for the council if on the highway and for landowners if dumped on private property, and unsightly for everyone, as well as harbouring potential health hazards.
  • The savings sought should come from elsewhere – by cutting the numbers of council staff receiving salaries over £100,000, and by avoiding costly subsidies such as the £20 million or so which has flowed to the Scarlets rugby team.
  • The northern, rural parts of the county are being denuded of services. The strong local opposition to the closure of Llandovery’s comprehensive school remains very much in evidence, and the end of recycling in Llangadog would be another blow for the rural population.
  • Closure would send a terrible message that the environment is not worth caring about. This point came from Llangadog’s vicar, the Rev. Michael Cottam.

Local county councillors have in the past done too little to stand up for the interests of the people who elected them, said some, and there were also comments that the decision-making processes in the council are undemocratic. This particular cost-cutting proposal was not included in the ‘budget consultation’ seminars which were held around the county in 2013, and although councillors first heard of it in early December, company boss Mr Roberts was not told until six weeks later, less than three months before the end of the contract.

About 10 jobs hang in the balance – important jobs in an area offering few work opportunities.

Councils in Wales are supposed to recycle 70% of household waste by 2025. Every tonne above 70% will incur a penalty of £200. The Llangadog centre is way above this already – but Carmarthenshire as a whole achieved a recycling rate of only 53% in the final three months of 2012, according to a report in the South Wales Guardian in June last year.

The four other recycling centres in the county, at Llanelli, Whitland, Nantycaws near Carmarthen, and Wernddu near Ammanford, are all run by CWM Environmental, owned by the county council but run as a stand-alone business. Last night’s meeting was told that the council’s contracts with CWM have another 18 months to run, so their future is not yet in doubt.

Meanwhile, residents opposed to the closure can contact council leader Kevin Madge (Labour) at County Hall, Carmarthen SA31 1JP, and can also send their opinions to local media such as the Carmarthen Journal and South Wales Guardian.

Pat Dodd Racher

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