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Major changes to waste and recycling services in Pembrokeshire

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THE FIRST of three major changes to waste and recycling services in Pembrokeshire is due to be rolled out soon, among which will be a new initiative where householders will be asked to demonstrate that their black bag waste does not contain any recyclable items.

The aim is to encourage more people to recycle as the County Council faces punitive fines if Welsh Government recycling targets are not met.

Two further significant changes to the Council’s waste service will take place later this year – the introduction of a free fortnightly Absorbent Hygiene Products collection (on request) starting in August and more changes to the kerbside collection services from October.

“We anticipate that before making the journey to their local centre, many householders will have already ensured that their general bin bag is free of any recyclable material,” explained Councillor Cris Tomos, the Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment.

“If recyclable items are in the general waste bags then householders will be asked to remove them and simply place them in the recycling containers.’

“We are determined to improve to ensure that we hit our targets. If we fail, the Council will be heavily fined and it would be unacceptable to have to divert much needed cash from essential services.

“Every one of us has a duty to recycle. It is a hot topic at the moment, especially with the concern being shown by environmentalists like David Attenborough over the amount of plastic in our oceans.

“We therefore anticipate that householders will show support for this initiative and recycle responsibly in their own homes.”

Later this month, staff at the county’s six waste and recycling centres will be handing out leaflets and speaking with householders and businesses explaining how the new bag-sorting scheme will operate.

The Council’s communications team will also be sharing information and guidance via their social media channels and the County Council website.

Explaining why the bag-sorting scheme has to work, the Council’s Head of Environmental Services and Public Protection, Richard Brown, said: “We need to increase the amount that we recycle in Pembrokeshire to meet Welsh Government’s targets.

“We currently recycle 60% of our waste but we need to recycle 64% by next year and 70 per cent by 2024 – 2025. If we miss these targets, Welsh Government will fine Pembrokeshire £140,000 for every one per cent we miss the target by.

“These changes will help ensure Pembrokeshire becomes more recycling focused and meets the targets, while also improving our environment. Wales is at the forefront of recycling on global scale and we are just a part of the story.

“We want to assure householders that, far from being a reduction in service, this is an initiative that will help everyone to dispose of the same amount of waste but in a better way.

“Our operatives will offer on-site support to anyone who is unsure about the process but our message is that these changes are not unique to Pembrokeshire.”

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Police urge visitors to ‘check the rules’

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POLICE in Powys are reminding people to check the rules before they travel, as tourists from the Midlands, London and Bristol continue to visit despite lockdown restrictions.

Last weekend more than 1,000 cars were turned around by police in the Brecon Beacons after visitors attempted to access the area around Ystradfellte known as ‘waterfall country’.

Many of those stopped claimed they thought the rules around travel were the same as in England, while others had deliberately flouted them.

Seventy-two per cent of people reported for breaches of Covid-19 restrictions in Powys since March 27 have been from outside the police force area.

“I would like to thank the communities of Powys for their cooperation in recent months in complying with requirements of the Covid 19 legislation and also reassure them we are still working hard with our partners to police the restrictions that remain in place across Wales,” said Superintendent Steve Davies.

“Our officers have worked hard to engage with the public at every opportunity throughout these unprecedented times by explaining what we are doing and why, and encouraging people to make the best choices to protect public health in Wales.

“But where people have clearly flouted the rules we have dealt with them appropriately and issued fines.”

He said officers will continue to conduct stop checks throughout Powys and across the force area this weekend.

In England, people can now travel an unlimited distance for exercise and to access so-called ‘beauty spots’.

But the Welsh Government has said people must remain local – ideally not travelling further than five miles from their home – for exercise or limited leisure pursuits, and this also applies to anyone travelling across the border.

Wales’ three national parks – which include popular sites such as Snowdon, the Elan valley and the Pembrokeshire coast – currently remain closed to the public, as do all National Trust car parks and properties.

The latest Welsh Government advice is available at gov.wales/coronavirus.

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Coastal car parks at beauty spots remain closed

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THE RECENT changes in regulations reinforce that movement is restricted to your local area.

This has been identified by the Welsh Government as an approximation of a five mile radius from your home.

Members of two separate households from the same local area (not travelling more than five miles) can now meet outdoors, as long as they maintain social distancing.

You should aim to meet another local household as close to your home as possible. Always take care to maintain social distancing and hand hygiene.

Pembrokeshire County Council car parks at attractions and beauty spots (including public toilets) currently remain closed so you should check before travelling.

They remain closed as a clear message that travel remains restricted, and associated tourism amenities remain closed.

A critical point for all to note is that lifeguards are not currently patrolling beaches and toilets and other facilities are not open.

Full details of the car parking facilities which remain open for the local community can be found on the Council’s website:
https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/emergency-planning/service-changes

Councillor Phil Baker, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure said: “The emphasis is on careful, structured unlocking, and not to put in danger any of the recovery measures that relate to public health and not to undo the safeguarding that lockdown has delivered.

“We will continue to review and monitor this carefully and take cautious, measured steps only to provide the benefits of the eased regulations without putting our residents at risk.”

Motorists are reminded not to contravene parking restrictions – such as yellow lines – where they exist as parking enforcement is still being undertaken.

As with other service areas, car parks will be reviewed in line with current advice.

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Pembrokeshire County Council Leaders coronavirus update

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PEMBROKESHIRE County Council Leader, Councillor David Simpson, has provided a further coronavirus update for Tuesday, 2nd June, as follows:

‘I want to thank everyone for the continued support to myself, Elected Members and officers of the Authority.

‘We have all experienced many challenges over the years but this continued struggle is very testing for all. We continue collectively to work together to ensure we, in Pembrokeshire, remain safe and avoid catching Covid-19

‘It is clear that we still have to remain “local”. There is no remit for travelling outside our local community. You will have read and heard clear guidance on only travelling five miles from home.

‘As always and where you can, please exercise from your home. The more we can do to reduce the spread of the virus, the better we will all fare in the long term.

‘I want to highlight that today marks the 50 th anniversary of the collapse of the Cleddau Bridge. This was indeed a tragedy as lives were lost and it is a sad chapter in Pembrokeshire’s history.

‘As in any incident, people can, and do, rebuild and also learn lessons. After Covid-19 the new “normality” will look different from what we were used to. But we will all move forward and regain Confidence.

‘I’m sure, like you, I question how I should be tackling this issue. Should I be doing more? The answer is simple and direct – we need to ensure social distancing is maintained; wash our hands regularly and listen to the advice given by experts.

‘Remember: ‘Stay Strong and Stay Local.’

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