NOW that the source of the flies has been identified one would imagine that it is all over. According to some sources who have contacted Llanelli Online today, Tuesday (Jun 12) it is certainly not over.
The Seaside area is one of the poorest areas in Wales according to government sources. It is home to a number of industrial units and it has had its fair share of problems but the people of the area are resilient and hard working and are more than able to articulate when they believe there are injustices.
One such correspondent raises questions, which they have asked us to put to the county council.
They asked why skips for waste have been placed outside a catering establishment in the affected area. The correspondent who did not wish to be named said that the cafe owners were furious having suffered as a result of the initial fly infestation and now having large waste bins placed outside their premises.
All in all it is turning out to be a disastrous exercise in PR for the council.
The council’s press release stated :
“This week, skips will be provided in the two residential communities affected, allowing residents to get rid of waste they have at their homes – they will be available on Tuesday, June 12, from 9am-4pm at (Cafe Name here) and grassland next to the (Pub name here) in Morfa.
“As well as visiting individual properties, environmental health officers will also be available for drop-in advice on Tuesday at (cafe name here) from 10am-12pm, and on the grassed area next to the (pub name here) in Morfa from 2pm-4pm.”
The council have amended their press statement today regarding the siting of bins outside of a catering business in Llanelli.
Councillor John Prosser said: It was unfortunate that it was put there and it was a genuine error. As soon as the council were made aware it was rectified straight away.”
From the initial press statement issued it was clear within the content that the council had made the plans in advance.
Jonathan Morgan, Interim Head of Homes and Safer Communities, said: “We spoke to the café last week in relation to placing some skips in the community to help residents dispose of additional rubbish. This was on top of our normal refuse services. Clearly we should have followed this up with another conversation with them to state they would be placed in the nearby vicinity. We have spoken to the café this morning on site and have apologised in person.
“As a result, we quickly moved the skip a short distance to limit any inconvenience caused to residents and businesses. We are doing all we can to assist residents and businesses and will continue to do so for whilst it is necessary.”
Another resident who did not wish to be named asked; “Why is £100 million being invested in a ‘Wellness Centre’ right next to the potential source of a major health hazard?”
Questions, which may also need asking relate to the initial planning application for the wellness centre by the council themselves and the information provided relating to the neighbouring recycling plant. We have sent a request for information to the county council.
With regards to the fly infestation councillors may wish to ask why when the evidence existed at the end of June as to the possible source of the infestation the council appeared to ignore the evidence and suggestions by local residents? Did the flies take a holiday when the council claim they visited the recycling plant?
Audio recorded 31st May 2018 yards from the source of the fly infestation. Speaking to a council officer who we believe was an environmental enforcement officer. On the council’s press release and responses to our questions it states: “If you have specific information that might help their enquiries, we’d encourage you to send details to email@example.com”
LO:Are you measuring them (the flies)?
Officer: They tend to be the same size really.
LO: Are you gathering information?
Officer: We are doing survey work to find out if there are any sources around
LO: You just use little fly traps and count the numbers is that how it works?
Officer: No we are just trying to find potential sources where they are laying eggs.
LO: We’ve just gone outside there and we only sat there for a couple of minutes and the car filled up
Officer: Where was that?
LO: Just at the gateway to this site. We pointed to the recycling plant (AMG Resources). This is where the residents are saying they think the issue is some of the industrial units.
Officer to other: Cross over this way?
The officer went across the road to Delta Lakes as you will see in our video.
Glanymor and Llwynhendy are the two most deprived areas in Llanelli according to Welsh Assembly Statistics. Source: http://www.assembly.wales/NAfW%20Documents/10-034.pdf%20-%2014052010/10-034-English.pdf
The Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation 2008 (WIMD)2 is a measure of deprivation for small areas in Wales. It ranks statistical geographies known as Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in terms of deprivation across various categories (known as domains) such as health and employment, as well as providing an overall deprivation rank.
In Llanelli: 12 per cent of its LSOAs fall within the 10% most deprived LSOAs in Wales. 65 per cent of its LSOAs fall within the 50% most deprived LSOAs in Wales.
Residents may well be asking if it is any coincidence that in these two areas they have had a major infestation of flies and now there are reports of large numbers of rats on housing estates. The areas contain a large number of council housing stock. The areas have been complaining of problems for a number of years. They now face the prospect of watching a £100 million + wellness centre being built in their back yard but at the same time searching for a GP to treat their young, their sick and their elderly. There is also a shortage of affordable housing and care homes in the area.
The council has invested in a new school and the North Dock and Machynys area has seen investment and the development of private housing sites.
One elderly disabled resident who did not wish to be named wrote to Llanelli Online on Wednesday (Jun 13). They said:
Morfa is still full of flies, I am disabled and not once has the council offered support. There have been no extra refuse collections. The Fox’s tear open refuse and the council leave it there after collection to blow around the streets. Our streets are never cleaned and we are left to pick up rubbish being blown around our gardens daily. The alley ways are used weekly for fly tipping but takes the council months to clear them. The empty houses have been left for the gardens to overgrow and the council hardly ever do repairs. Most of the residents try to take pride but a select few let the rest of them down. We have asked for bins to put the black and blue bags in so the bags don’t get messed about with but the council will not.
Perhaps this post on our Facebook page sums up the feeling in the community. Joanne Yeo writes:
For those not living in the area wondering why we’re making a fuss should read this and spend a day or two here. We’re not talking about a few flies, its hundreds and has affected our lives greatly. Being unable to prepare and eat food, being unable to sleep. Its been incredibly stressful and my health has suffered as a cosequence not to mention many, many others. There’s also the cost: replacing sticky strips daily, blue light boxes, citronella candles, door screens, bleach and having to eat out. Glanymor is one of the most deprived areas in wales, we have a higher than average elderly population, high social housing. The community pointed to the factory in the very beginning but were ignored. We’ve been ignored for years on matters including housing, community safety, environment, ASB and crime. Enough is enough! I do not blame the councillors because I know they work hard. Its the officers, who couldn’t care less. Why should Glanymor not be as much of a priority as other more affluent areas of Llanelli? There are still a lot of unanswered questions and every resident here deserves the truth.
The Council issued a notice on their website and they issued the following statement regarding the supply of blue bags and black bags.
“Three rolls of blue bags for recyclable waste such as paper, cardboard, plastic and metals are now delivered to each household annually as part of our commitment to supporting residents to recycle. This allows each household to put on average six blue bags out for each scheduled collection, however there is no limit. Anyone who runs out before their next delivery can visit one of our official collection points, the same as they would have before.
We continue to encourage residents to use their free green food waste bin and brown caddy to get rid of their food waste as these are collected on a weekly basis. These bins have lockable lids once the handle is placed down firmly to prevent contents being spilled or attracting pests. Should anyone require a food bin they can be ordered online, in person at a local Hwb or over the phone. Black bags should not attract pests if they do not contain food waste, and we also ask that other items such as soiled nappies, sanitary items and dog faeces are separately wrapped in nappy sacks or poo bags.
We ask residents to put out their recycling and waste for collection no earlier than 6pm the night before their scheduled collection. We provide advice to those who regularly fail to comply with these requests, and will take enforcement action if necessary.
The council spends thousands of pounds every year on street cleansing and litter clearance and we also support a number of community litter picks. Of course we would prefer that people helped look after their environment and communities so that litter was not such a prevalent and costly issue. We all have a part to play in keeping Carmarthenshire clean and we continue to encourage everyone to ensure they dispose of their waste properly and responsibly for the benefit of all.”
Screengrab Carmarthenshire County Council