COMMUNITIES in the north east of Carmarthenshire are being ignored by their local authority, MP Jonathan Edwards believes.
The Plaid Cymru MP expressed his deep concern for the future of our rural communities whilst speaking with businesses owners in Llandovery and following a visit to the Llangadog waste recycling site whose future is threatened by the county council decision to not renew its contract with the company.
Jonathan Edwards said that residents in the north east of the county could legitimately question what they were getting in return for their council tax each year as schools were closed, street lights turned off, recycling facilities taken away, highways left in a state of disrepair and social services outsourced.
The MP's comments come in response to the announcement that Carmarthenshire County Council will not be renewing its contract with All Waste Services who provides a recycling facility in Llangadog. Its closure would result in a round trip of 30-40 miles to the nearest civic amenity site for residents in the north-east communities of Llandovery and surrounding villages.
In a letter to council chiefs Mr Edwards asked what the authority expected the thousands of residents of the area to do with the 1500-2000 tonnes of civic amenity waste which would usually be taken to the Llandgadog site.
He said the council’s actions would likely increase the cost of clearing up fly-tipping, and added that the closure of the site would be "the final straw" for the communities to which the council paid no attention.
"Councils throughout Wales are facing severe budget cuts as a result of the failed ideological austerity measures of the Conservative Westminster government," he said. "But I and my party believe there are alternative ways of meeting this challenge without stripping communities of essential services.
"The recycling site in Llangadog receives 1,500-2,000 tonnes of civic amenity waste each year. Where exactly does the leadership of Carmarthenshire council expect all this waste to go?
“If there is no facility in the north-east of the county, residents of those communities will be forced into a 40-mile round trip for the nearest service. The cost to clear up fly-tipping will undoubtedly increase.
“But the wider issue here is that the people I represent believe their voices are ignored in County Hall.
“Schools are closing against the wishes of communities, street lights are being turned off, highways are left in a state of disrepair and now the civic amenity site is being taken away which many consider to be the final straw.
“I am deeply concerned for the future of our rural communities. All residents should have fair access to services irrespective of where they live in the county but this certainly won’t be the case in Carmarthenshire.
“As things stand, residents in the northern Carmarthenshire can justifiably question what exactly they get in return for their council tax each year.”