28th July 2021

Llanelli Online News

Llanelli's First For Hyperlocal News

Dear Editor,

I recently watched the Panorama program regarding this subject with great interest. It seems that people are surprised by the content. I have attached a case taken against the UK by a number of people, our case is the Burry Inlet case in Llanelli and the findings of the European Court is clear. However due to Brexit the fines and mitigating actions required to clean up our sewage disposal may never be accomplished.

Burry Inlet judgement

This case and the results have never been a News Item* and as such have not been reported as a serious event. It is clear from the Courts Decision that we breached the Directive(s) however it has passed unnoticed by the media. As an active fisherman all my life I can without any hesitation that I have watched the decline of our fisheries both at sea and in the rivers over the past 60 years and more to a point where it is now a rare site to see Salmon and sea trout jumping in the rivers.

When I first started fishing both species would be jumping continuously as they made their way up stream to spawn, today our rivers are almost dead and one is lucky to see a big fish raise at any time during the season, the decline is so great that today one cannot land a salmon and keep it where as 60 years ago these magnificent fish filled the small spawning rivers and brooks that one could almost walk an top of them they were so prolific. Sea trout were so many in numbers that one could be using a lure which would be hit at times twice in one cast on the larger rivers, to day a take can happen once if one is lucky in a fortnight.

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The rivers are full of slime and weed most of the time, a flood clears only part of the problem, that is no surprise to us as our investigations have identified that some CSO’s combined sewer outlets ) discharged continuously for months on end even discharging during dry weather periods.
Our local treatment plant could only treat 599 lps whereas it received 1483 lps, the treatment plant across the estuary treated 625 lps but received in excess of 2000 lps.
I have also attached a reply 100521 small & large works (1) we had from Welsh Water on the situation with large and small works at the time of our complaint. Since that time there has been some improvement in the treatment volumes however the excessive construction of new homes has outstripped the improvements made to date and the sewage spills continue at the same rate with over 1700 direct and indirect spills locally into our estuary which has one the highest legislative environmental protection laws in the Country all to no avail.

We are constantly bombarded with how much things have improved and how much wild life is there, however the people like Mr Robert Griffiths who work out on the Estuary, just like me a river fisherman can see and experience the continual decline.  My Grandsons and Granddaughter love fishing however they will never in my time experience the delights of seeing a river full of fish life even the trout are disappearing and in decline, all the other wildlife benefits that this brings will also be something they will have little chance of experiencing.

In Llanelli we took on the Government a number of times ending up in the High Court in London only to experience the powers of the public money people, and the establishment dowsing our case with legal arguments on trivia, filly busting the case out of Court. However we took it to Europe where we found an enthusiasm to uphold the laws meant to protect our Environment, but our victory never even made headlines in the local news or press, let alone the National Press and Media. WHY? Today that victory is as hollow as the Brexit deal on fishing, meaningless and another nail in the coffin of progress with environmental improvement targets.
William Thomas.
*Llanelli Online has carried a number of reports on the pollution of the Burry Inlet and has reported on the European Judgement on a number of occasions. 
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