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‘Council nappy proposals will worsen Llandudno rat problem’

A group of rats (Pic: TAPAS KUMAR HALDER, Wikimedia Commons)

CONWY council’s proposals to cut nappy collections from weekly to monthly will make a Llandudno rat problem worse – it has been claimed.

Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders has slammed a range of cuts proposed by Conwy County Council to make ends meet.

Conwy currently faces a £25m black hole after receiving the joint lowest local government settlement in Wales from Welsh Government, an increase of just 2%.

Consequently, Conwy is considering a range of cuts, including removing litter bins from streets, closing public toilets, reducing grass cutting, slashing library opening hours, and increasing garden waste collection fees.

The council is also considering whether it should cease or reduce nappy collections from weekly to monthly, and a council report has modelled for a council tax rise as high as 11%.

Significant education cuts are also expected.

Now Aberconwy MS Janet Finch-Saunders says there has never been a worse time to be a Conwy resident, claiming the nappy collection proposals could make an existing rat problem in Llandudno worse.

The local democracy reporting service reported in December how vermin were making residents’ lives a misery on Llandudno’s Ty Creuddyn (bottom) estate.

“I mean (Conwy paid) £60,000 for a diversity and equality officer, I don’t know why they would prioritise that,” said Mrs Finch-Saunders.

“Then they are thinking of cutting the nappy bin collection or making it weekly rather than monthly. Well we know we’ve got the rat problem on the Ty Creuddyn estate because of the four-weekly bin collections. This is just going to exacerbate that issue. So not only are they giving some of the highest council tax increases in Wales, but the services they are withdrawing are basic necessities.

“We’ve managed to get the town council to fund some community skips (on the estate), but again Conwy is not paying for them. They are coming out of the funds that Llandudno Town Council fund.

“I have numerous people complaining about the rats. We’ve got tenants from Cartrefi Conwy throwing beds and settees out and their rubbish sacks outside. So that is not helping. I’ve written to Cartrefi Conwy and asked them – they need to be educating their residents because it is almost like a public nuisance.

“I cannot believe we’ve had to suck up four-weekly bin collections. It is very difficult for families. I don’t care what anyone says, and can you imagine in the summer, the nappies… It is going to worsen (the rat) problem, I’m afraid. It is absolutely disgusting, and so are all the potholes in our roads. Conwy has not been regularly maintaining things.

“It is the basic functions that they are not delivering. I’ve been an elected politician for 30 years. I’ve won nine elections in Craig y Don, and I’ve never known a time when it is costing so much to live in Aberconwy when the residents are getting so little.”

Mrs Finch-Saunders claims she was once part of a group of Conwy councillors who travelled to Cardiff to insist the county was given more money.

The MS says the current crop of Conwy cabinet members should do the same and question Welsh Government over the funding formula used to calculate Conwy’s share of the funding pie.

“A contingency of us went down and argued the matter with them,” she said.

“I think we only got about half a percent (extra), but it was half a percent less for people to have to pay. They (the cabinet) just accept it now. I would call on the cabinet members and the leader to make representations to the Welsh Government, to tell them that we are unfairly treated.”

Katie Clubb is the managing director of Cartrefi Conwy and said: “We are aware of the options being considered by Conwy Council and, depending on what is decided, we will be working closely with our tenants to provide them with appropriate guidance.

“In the meantime, we have a caretaker service in our blocks of flats on the estate who already help manage communal recycling and general waste around bin store areas as well as providing information and advice to tenants, other residents, and community groups.

“When pest control issues have been raised with us by our tenants who occupy much but not all of the estate, we have always responded quickly to get them sorted as a matter of urgency.

“We are also pleased to be working with our partners, including Conwy Council, Llandudno Town Council, and Cllr Thomas Montgomery, who are equally keen to sort out the problem that’s caused by a number of factors.

“As part of the ongoing campaign, we have a litter pick planned on the estate in the coming weeks. In the meantime, I would also echo Cllr Montgomery’s recent plea to local residents to dispose of waste in a responsible way.”

Conwy County Council was contacted for a comment.

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