Beach group slams lack of fines for litter louts

By Caleb Spencer in Environment

VOLUNTEERS who spend their own time keeping Aberystwyth’s beaches tidy have slammed the council’s education-only approach to combating litter and fly-tipping.

Members of Aberystwyth Beach Buddies, a beach-cleaning group which has been reluctant to criticise the council’s environmental policies in the past, said they feel as though they are now “banging our heads against brick walls”.

Sian Obermaier, of ABB, told the Cambrian News this week that the council’s education-focused approach “does not go far enough”, and called on the council to get tougher on offenders by employing a seasonal beach warden.

“While we absolutely support educational initiatives to reduce the amount of litter leaving our shores and entering the marine pollution cycle, and undertake our own educational workshops, we feel this does not go far enough,” Ms Obermaier said this week.

Speaking to the Cambrian News in November, Cllr Alun Williams, Ceredigion County Council’s Cabinet member for waste, said that prosecuting environmental offenders “doesn’t provide a real answer”.

And in December, the Countryside Alliance labelled as “shocking” the Cambrian News revelation that the council had not prosecuted anyone for fly-tipping in the last decade, despite more than 3,500 incidents.

The council has maintained that its efforts to encourage more responsible behaviour, exemplified by its Caru Ceredigion campaign, is more cost effective.

Ms Obermaier continued: “While many are receptive to educational initiatives, there is a certain demographic to whom all appeals to respect the environment are lost — the message is falling on deaf ears."

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