‘Outrageous delay on contamination fears’
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