PROPEL, Wales’ newest political party, has called a community meeting to be held at 6pm on Monday 26 February at the Piccadilly Inn, Caerphilly, in response to growing discontent about the proposed coal tip reclamation in the Sirhowy Valley.

ERI Reclamation, a Kent-based private company, is currently seeking planning consent from Caerphilly County Borough Council for its proposals for the Bedwas Tips Reclamation Project, which aims to “reclaim” Bedwas coal tips by the re-mining of slag heaps.

The public meeting will address numerous concerns by residents, which not only include the environmental, and health implications, but also the way that Caerphilly County Borough Council is seen to have mismanaged the entire process, the lack of transparency, and the total disregard for its constituents and local elected members.

Cwmfelinfach resident and Propel activist Ruth Sutton said:

"I am concerned about the language being used by ERI and CCBC as it suggests that the tip removal is a done deal, when in fact, our concerns regarding health risks and the impact on the landscape are yet to be addressed.

“First it was the Hazrem environmental waste recycling plant, and now opening the door to what is essentially open cast mining is growing evidence that the South Wales Valleys has become the dumping ground for all unwanted projects.

“Studies by Asthma and Lung UK have found that the people of Merthyr are at the highest risk in Wales of respiratory disease, hospitalisation, and increased mortality rates as a direct result of the release of poisonous gases, and other heavy metals caused by the reclamation there. Sirhowy residents are worried: will we be next?”

“It's an absolute disgrace that CCBC appears to have given away Welsh natural resources potentially worth hundreds of millions of pounds, and this requires urgent detailed scrutiny. There are many more advantageous procurement options available that could benefit the Welsh economy if this project goes ahead.”

Propel Leader, Neil McEvoy added,

“Propel believes this proposal is far from being in the public’s best interest; legalised robbery comes to mind. 

“Wales is responsible for 40% of all slag heaps in the UK; with 2556 identified tip sites in Wales. If we allow Caerphilly County Borough Council to shrug off its responsibility, by yet again outsourcing tip stabilisation to an external company, it sets a dangerous precedent for the rest of Wales.

“It is no secret that private companies will always be profit-driven as we have already seen in Ffos-y-fran. The content of reusable minerals reaches into the billions. This is a blatant extraction of Welsh resources, and wealth, under the guise of public safety.

“With the privatisation of reclamation and stabilisation, the poverty-stricken communities of post-industrial Wales, and the wider Welsh economy, will see no benefit from such projects and yet will have to deal with the associated pollution, disruption, and health risks over many years.

“This is an issue of national significance. We must make a stand.”


Notes to the Editor

For more information, please contact Ruth Sutton on 07809155057 or email [email protected] or [email protected] or 07974 439640

Bedwas Tip - ERI Reclamation

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