Who is allowing Fly-tippers to get away with it in Rhondda Cynon Taf?
A story of the experienced fly-tippers Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, some of you will remember someone in our council in Rhondda Cynon Taf had a bright idea to illegally dump 1400 tons Rhondda Cynon Taf Council had an exemption certificate for just 1000 tons, not 1400 tons of waste on a site at Glynhafod Cwmaman back in 2015. Because of this, it cost Rhondda Cynon Taf Council taxpayers thousands of pounds to remove the illegal waste from the Glynhafod site, the exact amount Council taxpayers forked out is shrouded in mystery because Rhondda Cynon Taf Council failed to disclose the amount to the public. When local Labour councillors were asked the question they also failed to provide answers to the questions put to them about the illegal dumping of waste from the new Aberdare School.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is in the process of constructing a new school in Glynhafod Cwmaman again as with all major construction work it accumulates thousands of tons of waste. Before the start of the new school, Earth Science Partnership carried out project soil testing at the site.
The report by Earth Science Partnership ESP.5877b.2302 July 2015 Glynhafod Park, Cwmaman 20 2.8.3 Potential Receptors As discussed in Section 1.1 the report, Therefore the potential for exposure from any Possible Contamination, Remains In Grassed And Landscaped Areas.
“The most vulnerable human receptors with regards to any soil contamination present will be Staff And Pupils of the school.” Now is it the public at large?
Potential contamination sources cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, nickel, vanadium, sulphate, asbestos, PAHs, chlorinated aliphatic hydrocarbons and PCBs. mercury, cyanide, Asbestos Phenol, Acetone, Oil/Fuel Hydrocarbons, Aromatic Hydrocarbons, PCB’s. The report also says, therefore, a potential for exposure to any possible contamination remains in grassed and landscaped areas.
So how does Rhondda Cynon Taf Council dump the potentially contaminated soil in close proximate to the construction site at Glynhafod? Our Council declares there is a need for a flood prevention scheme in Glynhafod. You ask yourself how can the council dump soil if it contains contaminants in the soil surely that is illegal, isn’t it? A company called Terra Firma (Wales) Ltd was employed to produce another report for the developers and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council. Now the soil old colliery waste is found to be satisfactory for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to dump on the side of a mountain in Glynhafod. Dumping colliery waste on the side of a mounting as flood prevention is that such a good idea, time will tell.
AberdareOnline emailed a Mr Christopher David Gray Terra Firma (Wales) Ltd for a response a copy of the email below but we have received no reply from Christopher David Gray.
“Mr Christopher David Gray Bsc
Terra Firma (Wales) Ltd
20th November 2017
Dear Mr Gray,
Ref: Removal of contaminated spoil from new school site constructed in Cwmaman Aberdare and distributing contaminated soil.
With reference to the above having received a response from a Walsh Assemblymember just one of the few who I have been in contact with over the contaminated spoil from new school site constructed in Cwmaman.
I contacted Natural Resources Wales with concerns that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council (RCTC) were going to use soil from the new development on a flood prevention scheme in Glynhafod, an excuse to dump tonnes of contaminated soil on the mountain. You may or not be aware this is something that RCTC had done previously dumping soil from the new school at Aberdare, because of residents being aware what they were doing at that time was illegal RCTC had to remove hundreds of tons from the site or face court action.
As RCTC had already had a full report on the soil and its content the above site I and many residents question why there was a need for a further report on the same soil structure.
Your report the second report contradicting the first report by Earth Science Partnership, I understand there are no exposures contamination or danger in the soil in your report is this correct?
I don’t think there should be inconsistency where school children and the public are concerned and, as two reputable companies would have the best interests of the public before everything else.
I await your response.”
As we said experienced fly-tippers Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and ways to get around all the legalities, now let us take another piece of council-owned land in Gasworks Road Aberaman.
Only this time it’s not the council who are fly-tipping on their land next to a coach company its someone else, so who is gaining from the fly-tippers who is getting more room to park buses and coaches on council-owned land?
Most local authorities are concerned with fly-tipping therefor Rhondda Cynon Taf Council would remove any waste from council-owned land that has been fly tipped on. But from past experience, it would seem this is not the case with our council.
The fly-tipping was reported to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Natural Resources Wales by a concerned local resident who also informed the two authorities Natural Resources Wales and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council that mature trees had been felled to dump the waste.
Now Natural Resources Wales say on their website “fly-tipping is a crime. If caught you could face fines of up to £50,000 or imprisonment” but is fly-tipping an offence in Rhondda Cynon Taf? We think not 1400 tons of waste dumped illegally in Glynhafod but Natural Resources Wales turn a blind eye to that so are Natural Resources Wales setting a precedence allowing fly-tipping on Rhondda Cynon Taf Council land and allowing the council to get away with leaving it there even if the waste as we have been informed contained asbestos? A spokesperson from Natural Resources Wales said, “we are satisfied that the waste was spread out and levelled” well that’s ok then, is it?
Natural Resources Wales again say on their website “We investigate the larger scale incidents of fly-tipping (generally those involving more than a lorry/tipper load of waste), incidents involving hazardous waste and organised gangs of fly-tippers which have a greater potential harm to human health and damage the environment.” So is asbestos an incident involving hazardous waste as reported with photographs?
Apparently not in Rhondda Cynon Taf, so how do our council get over all the legalities, well they apply for a waste exemption certificate from their mates in Natural Resources Wales. As we all know asbestos has to go into a licensed disposal site and we don’t think Gasworks Road in Aberaman qualifies but the council and Natural Resources Wales think otherwise it would seem.
Getting back to the waste exemption certificate for Gasworks Road that you the council taxpayer paid for, the council first registered a U11 Exemption Certificate for the land at Gasworks Road, so what can legally be used under the U11 Exemption Certificate?
The U11 Exemption Certificate allows you to spread different waste on non-agricultural land to replace manufactured fertilisers or virgin materials such as agricultural lime used to improve or maintain the soil.
Not builders waste, or discarded road plainings etc. Evidently, the adjoining landowner is well in with someone in Rhondda Cynon Taf Council as he/she is the only person to gain anything out of all this at council taxpayers expense. So Natural Resources Wales and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council all turn a blind eye or manipulate the law to suit their own ends again as we said ways to get around all the legalities. Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has said fly-tipping has been removed but when this statement was challenged by a local concerned resident the response from Rhondda Cynon Taf Council on their Twitter account was “concrete matter does not class as fly-tipping” is the council saying anyone can dump concrete on public land and it is not classified as fly-tipping?
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has now registered a U1 Exemption Certificate for Gasworks Road site 7 days after the U11 Exemption Certificate
Nigel Wheeler, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council's Director for Highways and Streetcare Services, said: “These successful prosecutions send a clear message that fly-tipping will not be tolerated.
We believe Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Natural Resources Wales are sending out mixed messages, both are setting precedents regarding fly-tipping and applying for an Exemption Certificate after the crime has taken place. It would appear in Rhondda Cynon Taf it’s a case of fly-tip your builders waste first and if you are caught out then you (or the council in the case of Gasworks Road) apply for your waste Exemption Certificate.
AberdareOnline has written to a number of South Wales Central Assembly members including Andrew RT Davies, Neil McEvoy and Gareth Bennett with only Gareth Bennett providing any positive response. Quis custodiet ipsos custodes? (Who Watches the Watchers) no one it would seem Rhondda Cynon Taf Council are self-policing with no opposition in the council chamber, Plaid Cymru content to be the silent opposition and what happened to the newly formed Cynon Valley Party who said they would make Labour accountable for its actions more false optimism. Natural Resources Wales the supposedly governing body in Wales is it allowing Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to abuse parts of the Environmental Protection Act 1990? Has Natural Resources Wales a duty of care to the public or to protecting the interests of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council above public safety?
We have to wonder why we have a Welsh Assembly when some of the well-paid opposition Assembly Members shows little interest in the genuine concern from the public or public safety, little wonder why the Labour Party retain power in Wales.
Photographs from local resident of Gasworks Road
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said on Twitter concrete matter does not class as fly-tipping