Council lack of action over Hafodyrynys road condemns residents to years more of pollution poisoning

29/03/2019

Plaid Cymru has condemned a decision by the Caerphilly Council’s Labour Cabinet to do nothing to help residents living on the most polluted street in the UK, outside London.

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the opposition Plaid Cymru group on Caerphilly council, said that he would be ‘calling in” the ruling covering Woodside Terrace in Hafodyrynys Crumlin, so it can be reconsidered.

Councillor Colin Mann said: “The Cabinet had the choice to help residents to move or to do nothing.  Unbelievably it decided to do nothing.

“The message from the Labour cabinet to the residents of Woodside Terrace is ‘carry on breathing in poisonous air.   It may get better in a few years’ time’.  Frankly, that it is an abdication of their responsibilities to the public and totally irresponsible.

“The Welsh Government has offered £4.5 million for demolition costs.  The council should do the right thing.

“Any councillor with a conscience would vote in favour of financial resources to avoid condemning residents, in particular children, to continue living on such a polluted road.  The health impact of pollution poisoning doesn’t bear thinking about.

“Caerphilly council has a duty of care and wellbeing to residents. If Plaid Cymru was running the authority we’d be taking action, not burying our heads in the sand.

“The council has more than £100m in reserves, so surely it can find the money to make life better for residents.”

Crumlin ward councillor Mike Davies said: “To expect residents to wait for less polluting traffic is a tiny dot of light at the end of a very long tunnel. Other options must be pursued without further delay. Health could be affected and these people need help now.”

The A472, between Newbridge and Pontypool, is the only road that links the Ebbw and Afon Lwyd valleys other than the M4 10 miles south or the Heads of the Valley road 10 miles north.