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Who is to blame for rat ‘infestation’?

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Rat infestation: Should CCC have in-house pest control?

A QUESTION relating to ‘a number’ of rat infestations in Llanelli was raised at Wednesday’s (Jan 13) full council meeting.

Former Executive Member for Housing Tegwen Devichand told the current holder of the portfolio Linda Evans that she had received ‘a number of complaints’ from tenants and residents relating to rat infestations in their properties. “Although continued baiting has been carried out, rats are still invading a number of homes,” Cllr Devichand added. “They are destroying the personal effects of the residents and tenants and also chewing electric wires etc. One lady told me she was afraid to get out of bed in the night to use the bathroom in case she was attacked by one of these vermin.”

Cllr Devichand suggested that the rats were entering the properties via outside drains, and that this had become more of an issue since Dwr Cymru had stopped baiting their drains, and asked whether Cllr Evans could contact the water board and other agencies to look for a solution to this problem. Shortly before Cllr Devichand asked this question, Council Chair Peter Hughes-Griffiths asked councillors raising questions at a full council meeting whether or not they could, in some instances, be addressed privately to officers and members of the Executive Board to get a ‘fuller answer’. Whether or not this was aimed at Cllr Devichand’s query, she responded by stating that her question was ‘very important for tenants and the population’ of the county. Cllr Evans began her response by suggesting that the issue, which related to the health, wellbeing and belongings of residents, should have been addressed to Executive Member for Environment and Public Protection Jim Jones. However, she added, as it had been addressed to her, she would answer.

The council was informed that across Carmarthenshire CCC had received 255 requests for assistance with vermin in the last year, 77 of which were related to council-owned properties: “Having received the complaint, officers will offer advice,” she added, mentioning that the disposal of waste food was frequently an issue. “In extreme circumstances, enforcement action will be taken,” she added. Apparently this had happened 27 times, though it was unclear whether the action had been taken against the complainant or a third party. In relation to the ‘number of complaints’ from Cllr Devichand’s Dafen ward, Cllr Evans said that they could only find one instance of a complaint being made – an incident where rats had damaged electrical wiring – and that council officers had visited the property in December. She asked Cllr Devichand to provide details of the other cases in order for investigations to begin.

Cllr Evans and Cllr Jones would also write to Dwr Cymru and other agencies for information about the methods they used, she added. Cllr Devichand responded by saying that the complaints had come to her, not in her capacity as a county councillor, but because she had formerly held the post of Executive Member for Housing for three years, and still received complaints. In a supplementary question, Cllr Devichand claimed that the public had been ‘more confident’ in their pest control when the local authority had an in-house pest control department, and asked whether it could be re-instated. This service was abolished under the Labour-Independent coalition in 2011 – something Cllr Evans wasted no time in pointing out, although, as is becoming traditional, the role of their new coalition partners in this was not mentioned. The question of whether pest control services should be brought in-house again was also avoided.

This is far from the first time that residents have raised complaints about the council’s lack of pest control, with one woman even going as far as leaving a live rat with receptionists at County Hall with instructions to pass it on to Chief Executive Mark James. As is still the case today, a council spokesperson said that they would have offered advice to the person about how they could deal with the problem themselves.

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1 Comment

  1. Kevin R

    May 9, 2017 at 9:57 am

    Pest control should be handled by whoever is responsible. In this case, the rats have been using Dwr Cymru outside drains to enter the properties. They’ve been baiting their drains so they also know it’s their responsibility, but I don’t understand why they suddenly stopped.

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Cllr Kevin Madge elected as new county council Chairman

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THE new chair of Carmarthenshire County Council said he will work tirelessly during his term of office.

Cllr Kevin Madge, member for Garnant, takes the chain of office whilst celebrating 40 years as a councillor.

Taking the chair, Cllr Madge paid tribute to outgoing chairman Cllr Mansel Charles, member for Llanegwad, saying he had fulfilled his duties with passion.

Cllr Madge will chair the council for the next 12 months, with Cllr Ieuan Davies, member for Llanybydder, as his vice chair, and his wife Catrin as his consort.

“I’m very much looking forward to the year ahead, I will do my best for everyone. I will work tirelessly,” he said.

Cllr Madge has chosen the Trussell Trust, which supports a nationwide network of food banks and emergency food provision for people in crisis, as his Chairman’s Charity of the Year.

The Chair is the first citizen of Carmarthenshire County Council, and is elected at the Annual General Meeting.

Duties include chairing full meetings of the council, representing the council at formal and ceremonial occasions, welcoming visitors to the county, and attending and supporting events organised by local people and organisations.

Cllr Madge has been a county councillor since 1996, and a member of Cwmaman Town Council since 1979.

He also serves as chairman of the Royal British Legion Garnant branch, Garnant Family Centre and Cwmaman Meals on Wheels, and is a member of Amman Valley League of Friends.

He represents the county council on the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, and the Mynydd y Betws Wind Farm Community Fund, and is on the governing body of Ysgol Y Bedol.

A former pupil of Amman Valley School, Cllr Madge has worked in the Amman Valley throughout his life, most recently as agent and researcher to Dr Alan Williams MP until 2001.

A keen football supporter, he has served as chair and president of Cwmaman Football Club and spent 25 years as a Welsh League and Neath and District football referee.

He is married with two children and three grandchildren.

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‘UK Government should work with the Welsh Labour Government on Tata’

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LOCAL Assembly Member Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said ““This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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MP and AM call for Trostre certainty after merger fails

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LOCAL ASSEMBLY MEMBER Lee Waters and Nia Griffith MP have called on the UK Government to work with the Welsh Labour Government to come up with a deal to protect steel making at Trostre, and across Wales and the UK.

Lee Waters AM met with representatives from Tata Steel on Wednesday to discuss the future for steel making at the plant following the reported collapse of the proposed joint venture with Thyssenkrupp.

During the meeting he stressed the need to protect the entire steel supply chain in Wales, including the high quality jobs at Trostre, and those that depend on its presence in Llanelli.

Lee Waters AM said “It’s clear that the support Welsh Government provided during the crisis of 2016 has been critical in getting extra investment into Port Talbot which will secure the works for years to come. However, Tata is a company run from India, and we simply don’t know what the board will decide about its future strategy. They may well be looking for a new joint venture partner, so we’ll have to vigilant about the implications for our local plants.”

“Tata has said it intends to continue with its existing business plan, and honor commitments made to the Trade Unions, so Nia and I will be keeping a close eye to make sure that happens.”

Welsh Government has been in active discussions with Tata steel following the collapse of the merger with Thyssenkrupp. In a written statement and during questions on Wednesday, the Welsh Government committed to invest in Welsh steel to protect its future and is looking at a range of measures to assist on energy costs, business rates and procurement of steel for public sector contracts.

Lee Waters AM said “The Welsh Government have given significant support to the steel industry here but it can’t do everything, and we now need the UK Government to work with them to ensure a future for skilled work in the steel industry in Llanelli and elsewhere in Wales.”

Nia Griffith AM said “This latest news from Tata means yet more uncertainty for steelworkers. Their announcement about keeping Port Talbot is a start, but now we need real commitment from Tata on Trostre.

“We also need close cooperation from the company with the Trade Unions. Lee Waters AM and I will be urging the UK Government to follow Welsh Government in doing everything possible to secure the future of our steel industry.”

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