New taskforce aims to clean-up Llanelli
The first meeting of Llanelli’s new litter taskforce has been held with the aim of working together to make the town a cleaner and safer place to live.
It was organised as a joint venture between Carmarthenshire County Council’s Executive Board Member for the Environment Cllr Hazel Evans and Llanelli AM Lee Waters.
Held at Llanelli Town Hall, it was chaired by the council’s Director of Environment and attendees included representatives from Llanelli town and rural councils, Keep Wales Tidy, Fly-tipping Action Wales, Dyfed-Powys Police, the Pobl housing group, as well as officers from the council’s housing, cleansing, public protection and environmental enforcement sections.
The main focus of the meeting was to understand why Llanelli had a disproportionate problem with litter and fly-tipping compared to the rest of the county, and what could be done to improve the situation.
Issues discussed included dog-fouling, changing patterns of behaviour, community education, roadside littering and enforcement.
The group also discussed existing work that is taking place in the town to tackle litter, fly-tipping and dog fouling, especially the work of the ‘Greener Cleaner Llanelli’ group and ‘Pride in your Patch’ which co-ordinates and promotes community action such as litter-picks.
The taskforce looked at the work carried out by environmental enforcement officers who issue fines for various environmental crimes, and how that process could be improved by involving PCSOs in the issuing of fines.
A number of actions are now being taken forward by the group to try and make a difference including community education and raising awareness of everyone’s responsibility towards litter.
Cllr Evans said: “It was a very positive meeting and I would like to thank everyone who came along and took part. There is already a lot of good work taking place in Llanelli, but the aim of the group is to bring this all together and see what else we can do to resolve some of the issues in relation to litter and fly-tipping in Llanelli.
“There were a lot of good ideas around the table such as more education and awareness on how residents can dispose of large items of waste such as furniture etc; linking in with the health visitors to advise new parents who may struggle with the black bag limit because of nappies that there is help available; getting involved in the Welsh Government’s fly-tipping consultation and championing the proposal for fly-tippers to be issued with fixed penalty notices, the use of signage on and looking at the success other areas have achieved from introducing DNA testing for dog mess to prosecute the perpetrators.
“We hope that by the next meeting a lot of these action will have been completed and we will start to see some improvements in the town.”
Lee Waters AM said: “I’ve had overwhelming feedback on social media and in doorstep conversations about the problem of litter across Llanelli. I’m not interested in making political capital of this, I want to get results, so I was delighted that Carmarthenshire Council agreed to work with me in partnership to try and see what practical changes could be put in place in response to the feedback I’ve been getting.
“We identified a list of things that need looking at and we’re going to be meeting regularly to chase progress, and keep looking for ways of building on the work that the council are already doing”.
The next taskforce meeting is due to take place in May.