In his latest blog for Caerphilly Observer, Caerphilly AM Hefin David discusses the council budget and plastic waste.
For a long time, the UK Government has been cutting spending on public services. In practice, this means that we see less money for the Caerphilly area. The Welsh Government has protected local councils in Wales from the worst of the cuts, unlike those in England.
Caerphilly County Borough Council is currently asking residents for their views on proposed cuts. I wrote to the council to suggest a number of areas where services should be retained and suggestions for those cuts that would have less public impact.
In my letter, I called for the civic amenity site at Penallta Industrial Estate to be retained as it is central to the borough.
I have asked for the withdrawal of proposals to end funding for community centres and for the Meals on Wheels service to be retained. I value the work of volunteers who keep the centres operating but they can’t do so without support from the council. Ending the Meals on Wheels service will hit vulnerable people and so I questioned what alternative provision will be put in place for constituents who will have their meals-on-wheels service removed.
I also believe that it makes no sense to cut funds to very small projects such the Senghenydd Splash Pad that runs in the Summer. Savings from these are small and the impact of their removal huge. Caerphilly Council will decide the budget on Thursday 22nd February.
Senedd Plastics Debate
We bin too much plastic waste and much of it ends up in the ocean, causing irreparable damage to sea life. I’m hosting a debate on reducing our plastic reliance in the Senedd this week. We must reduce plastic waste and the Welsh Government can help.
There are great efforts by our local community to help reduce plastics. The local independent business community, particularly in town centres, have pushed efforts to reduce plastics in their stores. In August 2018, Plant To Plate, located in Cardiff Road, Caerphilly, became the county borough’s first ‘zero waste’ store. The ‘Plastic-free Caerphilly’ group is blazing a trail amongst the business community.
Caerphilly County Borough Council have established a Project Group to see how the challenge of addressing plastic waste can be met. However, on plastic waste there is so much more to be done. The Welsh Government can use these good examples in taking the steps to reduce the amount of plastic waste in Wales.