Did flies ar­rive from Eng­land?

Waste ‘may have come from site of an­other fly in­fes­ta­tion’

Llanelli Star - - Front Page - Richard Youle

A PLAGUE of flies which caused misery in Llanelli may have orig­i­nated in Eng­land, it has emerged.

Welsh en­vi­ron­ment body Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of the in­fes­ta­tion which blighted the town.

NRW said it was work­ing with a scrap me­tal busi­ness in Llanelli to re­duce the chance of the flies re­turn­ing en masse and con­firmed it was also li­ais­ing with the En­vi­ron­ment Agency to as­cer­tain if the waste had come to Llanelli from a site in Eng­land which also had a fly in­fes­ta­tion.

A PLAGUE of flies which caused misery in Llanelli may have orig­i­nated in Eng­land, it has emerged.

Wales en­vi­ron­ment body Nat­u­ral Re­sources Wales is still in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of the in­fes­ta­tion which blighted the town three months ago.

NRW said it was work­ing with a scrap me­tal busi­ness in Llanelli, AMG Re­sources Ltd, to re­duce the chance of the flies re­turn­ing en masse.

An NRW spokesman said it was also li­ais­ing with its coun­ter­part in Eng­land - the En­vi­ron­ment Agency - to as­cer­tain if the waste had come to Llanelli from a site in Eng­land which had also had a fly in­fes­ta­tion.

Llanelli res­i­dents said the in­sects had made their lives a misery, pre­vent­ing them from cook­ing at home or even en­joy­ing a cup of tea. Fly strips, they said, turned black after 24 hours.

The flies spread from Morfa and Ty­isha as far as Burry Port and Bigyn.

One woman brought a bag of them to a pub­lic meet­ing held to ad­dress the sit­u­a­tion.

Car­marthen­shire Coun­cil took up the in­ves­ti­ga­tion at the end of May and said it was con­fi­dent it had found the source of the prob­lem - a re­cy­cling plant - around a week later.

The probe was then taken up by NRW, which is re­spon­si­ble for per­mits and en­force­ment at re­cy­cling fa­cil­i­ties.

In June NRW re­moved un­washed plas­tic and scrap me­tal, which it said could be linked to the fly in­fes­ta­tion, from AMG Re­sources. It said its of­fi­cers would be check­ing that the com­pany took ac­tion to min­imise the risk of fur­ther prob­lems oc­cur­ring.

Asked yes­ter­day if the in­ves­ti­ga­tion had con­cluded, and whether any per­mit breaches had been iden­ti­fied, NRW op­er­a­tions man­ager Gavin Brown said: “The in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the root cause of the in­ci­dent is still on­go­ing, and we are mak­ing sure all in­ves­ti­ga­tion av­enues are be­ing cov­ered.

“AMG Re­sources Ltd has sub­mit­ted a vari­a­tion to its en­vi­ron­men­tal per­mit which in­cludes con­di­tions to re­duce the like­li­hood of the pest is­sue re­oc­cur­ring. We will be con­sult­ing with Car­marthen­shire Coun­cil on the vari­a­tion be­fore mak­ing our de­ci­sion.”

AMG Re­sources de­clined to com­ment. The in­fes­ta­tion is also be­ing looked into by the coun­cil’s en­vi­ron­men­tal and pub­lic pro­tec­tion scru­tiny com­mit­tee.

The move has been wel­comed by Llanelli town coun­cil­lor Sean Rees.

“This in­fes­ta­tion caused misery, frus­tra­tion, ex­pense and stress for ev­ery­one who has had to cope with such dis­gust­ing con­di­tions,” he said. “There are lessons that need to be learnt. Res­i­dents’ views must be heard.”

He said the town coun­cil had writ­ten to the county coun­cil re­quest­ing ac­tion from the scru­tiny com­mit­tee.

“The cre­ation of a re­port is a wel­come step in the right di­rec­tion,” said Mr Rees. “We all hope that such a re­port will now en­sure control mea­sures are re­viewed in or­der to tackle any fu­ture prob­lems should they arise.”

He has also urged the county coun­cil to re­in­state its pest control divi­sion.

Com­mit­tee chair­man coun­cil­lor John James said mem­bers did not need per­suad­ing on this mat­ter.

“This is not some­thing we were pres­surised into do­ing, rather it was some­thing that mem­bers of the scru­tiny com­mit­tee felt strongly about,” he said.

Res­i­dents said they were also both­ered by large num­bers of flies in sum­mer 2017, and don’t want a re­peat next year.

There are some lessons that need to be learnt. Res­i­dents’ views must be heard

Coun­cil­lor Sean Rees

Pic­ture: Jonathan My­ers

Amanda Carter was plagued by flies around the Delta Lakes area of Llanelli.

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