Labour Cabinet Ignored Warning Over Hafodyrynys Road Pollution

08/04/2019

Caerphilly Council’s Labour Cabinet pressed ahead with a “do minimum” policy to the impact of air pollution despite being told by the Welsh Government that it did not have all the required information.

A letter from Andrew Carter, the Welsh Government’s Air Quality Policy Manager, spelt out the opposition of Ministers to the way the council was planning to deal with air pollution at Woodside Terrace in Hafodyrynys, Crumlin. The road is the most polluted in the UK outside London.

In the letter the Welsh Government said the paper to Cabinet did not set out the legal duty and tests. “Therefore, Cabinet does not have all the information they need here to make a properly informed decision.”

Mr Carter asked officials to consider how Cabinet could be presented with further urgent advice in relation to legal requirements He stressed that Welsh Minister would have to consider options for further action as a “do minimum” approach was unacceptable.

 

Councillor Colin Mann, leader of the opposition Plaid Cymru group on Caerphilly council, said: “The letter from the Welsh Government makes it clear that the Cabinet did not have all the required information to make an informed decision. Yet they went ahead and agreed to do nothing. This is a shocking abdication of responsibilities.

“Recent BBC and other media reports have highlighted the impact of air pollution this week.  The tragic case of a young girl who died after being exposed to pollution from a busy road has been widely reported. Yet the Cabinet seems perfectly happy to ignore the evidence of the health impact on children and adults. This is totally irresponsible and Labour need to reverse their policy immediately.”

“This issue has been highlighted for far too long with no action.  In fact, a local Labour councillor raised this over three years ago and it was swept under the carpet.  These residents cannot be left in this deplorable situation for a moment longer than absolutely necessary.”