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Residents outraged over Withyhedge Landfill odour crisis

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THERE is a growing crisis for those who live near the Withyhedge Landfill site – located half way between the north end of Haverfordwest airport and Scolton Manor.

Local residents have expressed deep frustration with the site’s new management, citing unbearable odours permeating the air on most days.

The controversy began following a variance order by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), allowing an additional 50,000 tons of waste from Cardiff to be dumped at the site. This has led to a constant stream of trucks and a noticeable decline in the area’s air quality.

Residents accuse Pembrokeshire County Council (PCC) of deflecting responsibility, pointing fingers at NRW, a body they claim is increasingly unaccountable. The Council, however, insists it’s a matter for NRW, as the landfill is privately operated.

The situation has escalated to the point where locals, including children, are forced to live and learn in foul-smelling conditions. Despite numerous complaints to NRW and PCC, the issue persists, with many feeling their concerns fall on deaf ears.

As the problems have intensified, residents have taken to Facebook to express their anguish over the persistent and overpowering stench emanating from the site.

Adrian Pugh from Treffgarne lamented, “It’s such a lovely day to be out in the garden, but we’ve been driven indoors by the stench from Withyhedge landfill. Even with all windows shut, it’s crept into our conservatory and utility room. Yuck.” Pugh has been proactive in reporting the issue to NRW, urging others to do the same.

Andy Penton echoed the sentiment, having lodged complaints with the council, NRW, and local politicians. “The smell is just unbearable,” he stated.

Residents from surrounding areas, including Poyston Cross, Crundale, and along the A40, reported similar experiences. Paul Williams, a Poyston Cross local, mentioned, “I could smell it this morning before I went to work. It’s awful.” Elaine Brown from the same area described being almost sick driving past the landfill.

Mark Wilson highlighted the irony of the situation, “The whole place makes a joke of PCC’s recycling efforts. We recycle our waste and import all the crap from other counties.”

Sally Harries, another resident, emphasized the widespread ignorance about the volume of rubbish being brought into Pembrokeshire daily. She also raised concerns about the potential health implications, “Phoned NRW one evening at 10 pm to inform them that the smell was permeating through closed doors into our house. Horrible.”

Sue Whitehead noted the frequent movement of Atlantic Recycling lorries through the area, indicating the scale of waste transportation to the site.

The residents’ outcry reflects a deepening crisis, with the community demanding immediate and effective action to address the foul odour and its impact on their quality of life.

In response, the community plans to hold a public meeting early next year. Invitations will be extended to NRW, the management company RML, Potters Group (the site’s owners), and elected councillors. The goal is to demand immediate action and assurances for proper waste management and odour control.

Pembrokeshire County Council confirmed receiving public complaints about the landfill odours. During a joint visit with NRW officers, they reiterated their role in monitoring odour escape under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, despite NRW being the primary regulator.

The site operator has reportedly initiated a management plan to mitigate the issue. However, for many residents, these measures are too little, too late. They continue to urge affected individuals to sign a petition and report issues to NRW.

Pembrokeshire County Council said in a statement on Friday (Dec 21): “We can confirm that we have recently received complaints from members of the public relating to odours originating from the Withyhedge Landfill site.

Officers from the Council’s Planning and Public Protection Services have visited the facility this week alongside officers from Natural Resources Wales (NRW).

The site holds a permit issued by NRW and members of the public are encouraged to report any issues with odour to them; but we can confirm that officers from our Public Protection Service will be actively supporting staff in NRW by continuing to monitor odour escape from the site in nearby residential areas.

Whilst NRW is the site regulator, the Council has additional powers concerning whether odours constitute a statutory nuisance under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, and our monitoring will continue on this basis.

The site operator has confirmed that a management plan has been put in place and actions are being taken on site to mitigate the situation and reduce impact on surrounding areas.

For further information please see the statement issued previously by Natural Resources Wales: https://naturalresources.wales/about-us/news-and-blogs/statements/nrw-statement-on-odour-from-withyhedge-landfill-pembrokeshire/?lang=en

Picture of the site during a fire in 2018 (Image: NRW)

Entertainment

Broad Haven’s Music Festival set to rock village

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GET ready for an electrifying day of music and fun as the Havens Events Crew proudly presents the highly anticipated Broad Haven Music Festival. Scheduled for Saturday, July 20, from 3 PM to 11:30 PM, this event promises a vibrant mix of live bands, local talent, and a delightful BBQ, making it an unmissable occasion for music lovers and families alike.

The festival, at Broad Haven School Field, will feature an impressive lineup of performers. Attendees can look forward to the acoustic melodies of Cadence Acoustic, the energetic rhythms of Coastal Horizon, and the dynamic performances by Loose Change. These local bands are set to deliver a variety of genres, ensuring there’s something for everyone.

In addition to the musical performances, the festival will offer a range of delicious BBQ options, perfect for enjoying a summer evening outdoors. Whether you’re a long-time resident or a visitor, the Broad Haven Music Festival is an ideal opportunity to experience the local culture, connect with the community, and enjoy high-quality entertainment.

Tickets for the event are available for purchase at the Broad Haven Post Office and Lobster and Môr. Early acquisition is recommended to secure a spot at this popular event.

It promises to be a memorable day filled with music, food, and community spirit. The Broad Haven Music Festival is more than just a concert; it’s a celebration of local talent and a testament to the vibrant culture of our town. Don’t miss out on this fantastic event!

For more information, visit the Havens Events Crew’s official website or follow their social media pages for updates and announcements.


Event Details:

  • Date: Saturday, July 20
  • Time: 3 PM – 11:30 PM
  • Location: Broad Haven School Field
  • Performers: Cadence Acoustic, Coastal Horizon, Loose Change
  • Tickets Available At: Broad Haven Post Office, Lobster and Môr

Be sure to mark your calendars and get your tickets soon – we look forward to seeing you there!

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News

England’s Euro 2024 semi-final victory captivates millions

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ENGLAND’S Euro 2024 semi-final victory over the Netherlands garnered a peak audience of 20.3 million on ITV, cementing its status as the most-watched television programme of the year. Broadcasters are now hopeful that Sunday night’s final against Spain will attract over 30 million viewers, surpassing the numbers that tuned in for England’s Euro 2020 final defeat.

The overnight viewing figures, provided by ratings agency Digital-i, do not account for the millions who streamed the match on ITVX or watched in public venues. The coverage of Euro 2024 in the UK is split between the BBC and ITV, with the channels alternating first choices for matches in each round. ITV executives celebrated Jordan Pickford’s crucial penalty save against Switzerland, which secured another high-profile England match and delivered a substantial advertising boost to the channel.

Both the BBC and ITV will broadcast the final, with approximately a fifth of viewers typically opting for ITV over the BBC. Euro 2024 has demonstrated the enduring appeal of live sports broadcasting, which continues to draw massive audiences, particularly when the events are free to watch. Even matches not involving home nations have attracted significant viewership, with the Spain v France semi-final on BBC One peaking at 11 million viewers.

The Euros are part of the UK’s “crown jewel” sporting events, which include the football World Cup, Wimbledon, and the Olympics, all mandated by law to be shown on free-to-air channels. In contrast, other sports have opted for the higher revenue available from pay TV channels, resulting in substantially lower audiences for international matches. The England and Wales cricket board successfully lobbied in the 2000s to keep England test matches off the free-to-air list. Consequently, Jimmy Anderson’s farewell match against the West Indies at Lords, broadcast behind a paywall on Sky, attracted a peak audience of only about 700,000 viewers.

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Crime

Welsh Snooker star Michael White jailed for assaulting partner

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A WELSH snooker star has been jailed after assaulting his then-partner. Michael White, 33, of Penshannel, Neath Abbey, assaulted the woman, causing actual bodily harm, on two separate occasions. The first incident occurred on February 12, 2022, and the second on December 10, 2022.

White pleaded guilty to the charges. A further charge of intentional strangulation on December 10 was directed to lie on file. White, whose snooker world ranking peaked at 15 in 2016, was sentenced at Swansea Crown Court on Thursday, July 11, 2024.

He received a total jail term of 36 months – 19 months for the first incident and a consecutive 17 months for the second. The World Professional Billiards and Snooker Association has announced that White has been removed from the world ranking list and the World Snooker Tour with immediate effect.

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