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Multi-agency operation tackles illegal waste and fly-tipping in Pembrokeshire

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IN RESPONSE to a rise in the level of fly tipping offences, and that refuse then subsequently being set alight in the local area, a multi-agency operation was undertaken on Thursday last week (Aug 12), to tackle illegal waste carriers.

The partnership response was carried out on Scoveston Road, the Broadmoor to Sageston road and the Cresselly to Carew road, Pembrokeshire.  

Waste crime is on the rise across the UK and is estimated to cost the UK economy £600 million a year. Illegal waste crime can take many forms but most often within our communities we recognise it in the form of fly tipping and increasingly by way of illegal waste sites being set up by unscrupulous landowners where waste is illegally deposited without any form of regulation often resulting in significant environmental pollution and damage. As they are unregulated, there are no controls in place as to the type and volume of waste being dumped. Inevitably, this illegal waste is subsequently burnt to reduce its volume and get rid of it, and Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service are regularly called out to deal with these fires. 

Figures suggset waste crime is on the rise across the UK and is estimated to cost the UK economy £600 million a year (Pic Herald)

Noxious smoke from these fires can affect residents living in and around these areas, and impact upon their quality of life and health. These illegal waste sites and resultant burning also have an adverse impact on the local environment in these communities.

This operation therefore aimed to target, stop and take enforcement action against illegal waste carriers operating in the area. Members of Pembrokehsire Roads Policing Unit, Neighbourhood Policing Teams, Rural Crime Team, Pembrokeshire County Council Waste Enforcement and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) set up road check sites, where they stopped and checked any vehicle suspected to be carrying waste. This was in order to disrupt and deter illegal waste carriers heading to any sites. The local authority waste enforcement teams provided drivers with advice around waste carrier licences.

Fly tipping has become an increasing problem in west Wales (Pic file)

As a result of this roadside operation, over 60 vehicles were stopped, checked, and examined and eight sites visited. Police issued one prohibition notice for the condition of a vehicle, two traffic offence reports for no insurance and a number of intelligence submissions were made. The DVSA issued one fixed penalty notice, three immediate suspensions and two delayed suspensions for the condition of vehicles.    

Sergeant Terri Harrison, seconded to Arson Reduction Team Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service said: “Waste crime damages our environment, community and economy. It is a real challenge for Mid and West Wales Fire and Rescue Service and partner agencies. Every year there are reports of hundreds of refuse fires and we are seeing a very clear and obvious link between deliberate refuse fires, fly tipping and the operation of illegal waste sites.  Waste crime has a real adverse impact upon the quality of life for those affected by these illegal activities. This operation also coincided with Crimestoppers national month-long rural crime campaign, that focussed on waste crime specifically last week.

“We all have a duty to dispose of our waste safely, legally and responsibly – and it’s important to ensure that any individual or business disposing of your waste does so too.”

Pembrokeshire County Council has reiterated its commitment to prosecute unlicensed waste operators and fly-tippers. Cllr Cris Tomos says: “The focus of this joint operation was ensuring commercial waste collectors and operators had the appropriate licences and permits in place to ensure these operators complied with legislation and duty of care, to make sure waste is being disposed of appropriately to tackle Envirocrime and Flytipping.

“Operation Tornado sends out a strong message that fly-tipping will not be tolerated and those who carry out this scourge on society will be prosecuted. We need the public’s help on this to be our eyes and ears. Please continue to report incidents of fly-tipping but also pass on any details you can about the perpetrators.”

Pembrokeshire County Council returns included:

·                One warning issued for non-compliance with waste carriers licence;

·                Valuable information gathering on waste collection operators and compliance;

·                A number of vehicles were advised of their requirements regarding the transportation and disposal of waste.

Pembrokeshire County Council has set up a special team to deal with fly-tipping and will always seek to prosecute where possible. You can provide information, in confidence, by emailing fly.tipping@pembrokeshire.gov.uk or by phoning the dedicated fly tipping phone line: 01437 775253. Anyone who provides information on fly-tipping that leads to successful enforcement action is eligible for a £100 reward.

Cllr Cris Tomos (Holding the recycling box) says he wants to see waste handled propertly in Pembrokeshire (Pic PCC)

Businesses and householders are reminded to be aware that they have a duty of care for their waste and that simply handing it onto another person to dispose of does not absolve them of their responsibility. Cllr Cris Tomos said: “The public need to use registered waste carriers and be satisfied that they are disposing of waste legitimately. Failure to do so, may in certain cases lead to their actions being investigated, fines or prosecution.’

See more information on the duty of care here: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/waste-and-recycling/householders-duty-of-care

A booking system continues to be in place for Pembrokeshire’s six Waste and Recycling Centres (WRCs) for all users both Household and Commercial.

Slots can be booked up until 6am on the day when there are time slots available.

To pre-book a slot or for more information about the Waste and Recycling Centre’s, please go online at: www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/waste-bookings

For further information and guidance on disposing of waste safely, legally and responsibly, visit the Fly Tipping Action Wales website: flytippingactionwales.org

Business

Applications for Covid-19 emergency business fund open

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A ROUND of Covid-19 support for businesses and sole traders that do not pay rates is now open for applications.

The discretionary Emergency Business Fund is part of a £120m package of support announced by the Welsh Government following the move to Alert Level 2.

The fund is to support businesses in the hospitality, tourism, retail, leisure sector or related supply chain businesses, including creative freelancers and taxi drivers.

More information about the fund and the application process can be found on the Pembrokeshire County Council website at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support/emergency-business-fund-january-2022

Applications will close at 5pm on, February 14 2022. Businesses are asked to complete the application form carefully.

There are two grants available:

• Grant A:
A £1,000 cash grant payment for hospitality, tourism, retail and related supply chain businesses which do not employ anyone apart from the owner, and do not have a property. This includes qualifying sole traders, freelancers and taxi drivers.

• Grant B:
A £2,000 cash grant payment for hospitality, tourism, retail, leisure and related supply chain businesses who employ staff through PAYE (in addition to the owner).

Supply chain businesses are defined as a business that generates 60% or more of its sales revenue from businesses directly impacted by the restrictions.

The funding is intended to cover the business impact from the December 13 2021 to the February 14 2022.

The Pembrokeshire County Council’s business support pages are at: https://www.pembrokeshire.gov.uk/business-advice-and-support

On the business support pages you will also find details of the NDR linked grant (which opened last week) and how to apply.

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Business

Applications open for emergency financial support from Economic Resilience Fund

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Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500 to £25,000

BUSINESSES in Wales impacted by the rapid spread of the Omicron virus can now apply for emergency financial support from the Welsh Government’s Economic Resilience Fund (ERF).

Economy Minister Vaughan Gething previously said £120 million would be available for retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism business and their supply chains affected by the move to alert level 2 announced by the First Minister on Wednesday 22 December.

Eligible businesses can apply for grants of between £2,500 to £25,000, with grants dependent on their size and number of employees.

The application window will be open for two weeks, with payments starting to reach businesses within days.

Vaughan Gething

Economy Minister, Vaughan Gething, said:

“Following positive engagement with businesses, trades unions and other partners, we recently changed the eligibility criteria for the ERF support. The ERF grant is a Wales-only top up payment that currently supports eligible businesses who have seen a 60% drop in their income between December and February compared with the same period two years ago. The new criteria means that businesses in these sectors who have seen a 50% reduction in their turnover will now also be able to access the ERF.

“This means more businesses will receive more support from the Welsh Government.”

Non-essential retail, hospitality, leisure and tourism businesses in Wales can also receive support from the Non Domestic Rates (NDR) linked grant which is being administered by local authorities. Businesses will be entitled to a payment of £2,000, £4,000 or £6,000 depending on their rateable value.

Local authorities are also administrating a discretionary fund for sole traders, freelancers and taxi drivers and businesses that employ people but do not pay business rates. Last week this was doubled to £1,000.

The Welsh Government has provided in excess of £2.5bn funding to Welsh businesses since the start of the pandemic. Focused particularly on backing small businesses and Welsh communities, it’s targeted approach has helped protect in excess of 160,000 Welsh jobs which might otherwise have been lost.

Apply for Economic Resilience Fund support here:

COVID-19 Support for Business | Business Wales (gov.wales)

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Business

St Clears’ McDonald’s opening delayed for a week

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McDonald's sign

THE OPENING of the new 100-seater McDonald’s in St Clears has been delayed by a week. 

The restaurant, which will be built along the main approach road to Pembrokeshire, aimed to open its doors on Wednesday, January 19. 

However, the company has confirmed that the opening has been postponed until Wednesday, January 26. 

The new McDonald’s will join Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock McDonald’s as the only members of the company located west of Carmarthen. 

It hoped to provide over 80 full and part time jobs due to being open around the clock. They hosted a recruitment day in December 2021. 

The original applications had previously stated that the McDonald’s would be open 24 hours a day. A premises licence application is currently being made to the County Council for the “provision of late-night refreshments” which, if accepted, would allow the restaurant to be open 24 hours a day.

It will open on the opposite side of the road to Travelodge and Starbucks, which replaced the Little Chef restaurant in 2017.

The restaurant was initially going to include a separate building which would have accommodated a Costa Coffee. However, it will now host a Greggs. 

Alongside this, planning permission has been granted separately for a petrol station with six electric charging points.

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