‘Out­ra­geous de­lay on con­tam­i­na­tion fears’

Bangor Mail - - NEWS -

AN­GLE­SEY Coun­cil has been ac­cused of re­fus­ing to take ac­tion for al­most a year af­ter pos­si­ble con­tam­i­na­tion be­ing dis­cov­ered at a hous­ing es­tate.

In Oc­to­ber 2017, more than 100 homes on the Craig-y-Don Es­tate in Aml­wch were tested for pos­si­ble con­tam­i­na­tion as the site they were built on was used for smelt­ing more than 200 years ago.

All but one of the 112 homes al­lowed gar­den soil tests to be car­ried out with no con­tam­i­na­tion found in 95.

But of­fi­cials agreed that fur­ther as­sess­ments will be needed on the re­main­ing 16.

How­ever town coun­cil­lors have ac­cused the au­thor­ity of "do­ing noth­ing" for the 10 months since the re­sults of the test­ing were re­ceived.

Ac­cord­ing to An­gle­sey Coun­cil, the pre­cau­tion­ary re­me­dial work needed could in­clude the re­moval and re­place­ment of gar­den top soil or plac­ing paving over gar­den ar­eas. S Seven of these are coun­cil owned w while the other nine are pri­vate.

But Cllr Myrd­din Owens said at last Tues­day's town coun­cil meeting: "The coun­cil should be deal­ing with this is­sue now, not wait­ing on a Welsh As­sem­bly grant.

“They found 16 homes with a pos­si­ble se­ri­ous risk of harm, and An­gle­sey Coun­cil has known this since Janu uary.

“They haven't done a thing about t the sit­u­a­tion since then de­spite peo­ple liv­ing on the es­tate who may be in dan­ger."

He added: "My un­der­stand­ing is the coun­cil aren't will­ing to spend their own money, but are wait­ing on the out­come of a Welsh Govern­ment grant.

"I pro­pose that we should write to Llangefni and out­line our view that they should be deal­ing with this as soon as pos­si­ble and if needs be, us­ing their own money.

"It's out­ra­geous they aren't act­ing sooner, it should come out of the hous­ing rev­enue ac­count."

Dur­ing a town coun­cil meeting in the spring, it was out­lined that ex­perts had found that the soil would need to be in­gested ev­ery day over a pe­riod of 60 years in or­der to have any neg­a­tive ef­fect on peo­ple's health. This was re­it­er­ated by An­gle­sey Coun­cil leader, Lli­nos Medi, who out­lined that res­i­dents were not at any im­me­di­ate risk.

"The county coun­cil will do ev­ery­thing it can to en­sure ap­pro­pri­ate sup­port and guid­ance for all the own­ers and ten­ants of the 16 prop­er­ties in­volved un­til this mat­ter is re­solved," she added. "To this end I have writ­ten to the Welsh Govern­ment re­quest­ing ad­di­tional sup­port to carry out the re­me­dial work now needed."

Re­spond­ing to Cllr Owens com­ments, an An­gle­sey Coun­cil spokesman said: "A great deal of work has been un­der­taken in re­cent months in re­spect of Craig-y-Don. Re­me­di­a­tion pro­pos­als have been drawn up for each of the prop­er­ties, in con­sul­ta­tion with the in­di­vid­ual res­i­dents.

"We con­tinue to en­gage with the Welsh Govern­ment to se­cure the fund­ing needed to un­der­take this spe­cialised work and ex­pect to be in a po­si­tion to be­gin work in the New Year."

Craig-y-Don was built in the 1950s on the for­mer site of a smelter dat­ing back to around 1786, linked to the town's boom­ing cop­per in­dus­try.

When cop­per min­ing ceased the site be­came a Fer­til­izer Fac­tory known as "Gwaith Hills" around 1889. The heavy met­als are the same as those found within the ore nat­u­rally found within the moun­tain. The smelt­ing process at Craig-y-Don in­volved fur­naces, which melted the ore to ex­tract the cop­per, leav­ing be­hind the less valu­able heavy ma­te­ri­als in the form of "clinker". The sur­vey un­der­taken by the coun­cil found that ground on cer­tain parts of the es­tate in­cluded traces of this clinker.

Ld Leader of fA An­gle­sey l C Coun­cil, il Lli­nos Medi, says res­i­dents are not at im­me­di­ate risk

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