Preseli Pembrokeshire MP Stephen Crabb has called for action to halt the growing quantity of litter discarded on roadside verges across Pembrokeshire.
The MP has used the start of The Great British Spring Clean 2023, which runs from 17th March to 2nd April, to draw attention to the state of the County’s green verges and hedgerows, some of which are now strewn with drink cans, coffee cups and fast-food cartons. As well as damaging the environment, the volume of litter risks undermining Pembrokeshire’s reputation as a wonderful place for tourists to visit.
Hearing direct from Pembrokeshire residents concerned about the increase in litter, Stephen Crabb MP has called on Pembrokeshire County Council and Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority to step up and take action ahead of the busy tourism season.
Stephen and his team, together with Johnston County Councillor Aled Thomas, gathered for a litter pick around Johnston on the first day of the British Spring Clean on Friday 17th March.
Commenting during the litter picking session, Stephen Crabb said,
“I’m really concerned right now about the amount of litter that I am seeing. It’s the worst it’s ever been. Today, we have been picking up lots of fast-food wrappers, cigarette packets, energy drink cans and coffee cups scattered along the roadsides – it’s a real disgrace.”
He commended local efforts by groups such as the Newgale Beach Wombles and Eco Dewi and others who regularly volunteer their time to help keep our beaches and County clear of rubbish. He urged residents to think about how they are disposing their litter and encouraged people consider becoming a Litter Champion – part of the Keep Wales Tidy campaign.
“Locals are raising it with me all the time at the moment and it’s a wide-spread problem across the County. People are really fed up of it. I am also concerned about the impression that it provides to tourists who visit our County for its outstanding natural beauty.”
The MP used equipment provided by one of the six Caru Cymru‘s Keep Wales Tidy community litter picking hubs across Pembrokeshire. They provide equipment free of charge to members of the community. This includes litter pickers, hoops, hi-vis vests and bin bags. The kit also contains all necessary health and safety guidance and support on competing a Litter Picking Loan Agreement and a Risk Assessment.
Stephen Crabb has also called on Welsh Government Education Minister, Jeremy Miles, to use the new Welsh curriculum to educate and help influence behaviour in young people in primary and secondary education on litter prevention.
County Councillor Aled Thomas said, “We all have a responsibility to keep our communities as clean as possible and to show our natural environment at its best. We have to be pro-active and do our bit and stop turning a blind eye to the problem that we have here in Pembrokeshire.”
In his letter to the Leader of Pembrokeshire County Council, he wrote “I appreciate there is considerable pressure on the maintenance team covering Pembrokeshire but there is enormous strength of public feeling about this issue locally. Local people are being asked again to pay large increases in Council Tax; they want to see core functions delivered well.”
Photo caption shows – Stephen Crabb MP and County Councillor Aled Thomas litter picking during The Great British Spring Clean in Johnston
More details about becoming a Litter Picking Champion can be found at www.keepwalestidy.cymru