Posted: Tue 18th Jul 2023

Councillors Call on Welsh Government to Act on Environmental Issues in Powys /
This article is old - Published: Tuesday, Jul 18th, 2023

COUNCILLORS are set to ask the Welsh Government to act on environmental and countryside issues affecting Powys.
At Powys County Council’s meeting on Thursday, July 20 councillors will put forward a number of motions to debate at the meeting.
Amongst these are a motion calling for action on river pollution and another asking the Welsh Government to re-think banning the release of game birds.
Liberal Democrat councillor Gareth Ratcliffe will propose the motion on phosphates and will be backed up by Lib Dem colleague Cllr Corinna Kenyon-Wade.
Cllr Ratcliffe said: “This council and neighbouring authorities in Wales and England have faced severe planning restrictions due to the phosphate levels within our rivers.
“This is a national issue that is being passed around, and communities are being divided on who is responsible and how to deal with the issue.”
He explained that that phosphate issues in Powys revers are being blamed by the public on a number of issues including agricultural practices, urban water runoff, leaking septic tanks, and discharges from sewage plants.
Cllr Ratcliffe said: “All of these systems are mainly operating within the laws that were granted to them, and we need to acknowledge they are operating within the rules set by the national government.”
“Whilst individually such developments are of minimal impact, collectively they cause massive damage to our environment, and impact the housing shortage issue facing our county as well as other developments.”
As the manager of our natural resources, Natural Resources Wales NRW should monitor our rivers.
“Its purpose is to “pursue sustainable management of natural resources” and “apply the principles of sustainable management of natural resources” as stated in the Environment (Wales) Act 2016.
They ask the council to support calls for: ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Welsh Government to set a clear monitoring framework for river pollution.
National Governments to accelerate funding for bodies like NRW to allow them to monitor and enforce safe levels within our rivers.
Call on Welsh Water to accelerate its investment in the sewage system and their upgrade programme. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Also, at the meeting Conservative councillors Aled Davies and Ian McIntosh will ask the council to support their motion on game birds.
Earlier this year NRW held a three month long consultation as they consider options for regulating gamebird releases in Wales, specifically Common Pheasant and Red-Legged Partridge.
NRW said: “Releases of gamebirds within a boundary of a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSI) usually need consent from NRW, however, outside those boundaries, there is little regulation or monitoring of their effect.”
NRW and the Welsh Government are expected to mull over the consultation responses ahead of agreeing a regulatory approach from next year onwards.
Tory group leader Cllr Davies said: “Powys County Council calls on Welsh Government and NRW to withdraw their proposal to ban the release of gamebirds in Wales thus only allowing release by licence, which will hugely impact the people of Wales.”
Cllr Davies claims there has not “been sufficient evidence” to back the proposal by NRW.
Cllr Davies said: “We call on the Welsh Government to acknowledge the economic, conservation and well-being benefits game shooting brings to Wales, it’s value to rural communities, our heritage, culture and the Welsh language.”
Cllr McIntosh will second the motion. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

By BBC LDRS ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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