Plaid Cymru MS demands ‘swift action’ from council chief amid tourist littering tensions
A Plaid Cymru MS has demanded “swift action” from a council chief amid tensions in Gwynedd following an influx of tourists.
Siân Gwenllian, who represents Arfon, which includes Llanberis, has written to Dafydd Gibbard, the Chief Executive of Gwynedd Council, to express her concerns after reports of an upsurge in littering and parking problems in the village.
She says that “swift action” is needed to alleviate local anxieties and “to help the local tourism industry.”
A spokesperson for Gwynedd Council told Nation.Cymru that it shares the “frustrations of local residents” and said that it is “working hard to ensure that our communities are treated with respect.”
The council acknowledged “increase in litter in some of our most popular destinations” and urged people to “dispose of their waste responsibly.”
It says it has put in “extra patrols of emptying bins” in Llanberis to deal with the problem, and that it has placed more bins in the village.
In her letter to Dafydd Gibbard, Gwynedd Council’s new Chief Executive, Sian Gwenllian said: “I am aware of the problems being caused in Llanberis by the increased population as a result of a large influx of visitors to the area.
“Similar problems were experienced last year and again this summer, brisk action is needed in order to quell local anxieties.
“Swift action is also needed to help the local tourism industry.
“Visitors will not return to the area if there is rubbish everywhere, parking problems and tensions arising due to the situation.
“The Community Council has written to you with useful and sensible suggestions and I implore you to bring all the partners together in order to implement a plan in Llanberis and the area that will be of benefit to the local population and the tourism industry.
“I am confident that you will be able to act urgently in order to solve the problems that are affecting everyone, local residents and tourists alike.”
A Gwynedd Council spokesperson told Nation.Cymru: “Throughout the pandemic, we have been urging those who choose to visit Gwynedd to be patient, to plan visits in advance and to respect our communities.
“We share the frustrations of local residents and are working hard to ensure that our communities are treated with respect.
“Sadly, we have seen an increase in litter in some of our most popular destinations and we continue to encourage members of the public to dispose of their waste responsibly.
“At Llanberis, we have put additional arrangements in place because of the increase in visitor numbers, including extra patrols of emptying bins between 12pm and 6pm which includes at weekends.
“More bins have been placed in Llanberis, and we are currently monitoring the situation to determine whether additional bins are needed on a temporary basis.
“We also have country park wardens in Parc Padarn seven-days a week who assist in clearing litter as part of their daily duties.
“We have also hired two new seasonal wardens as well as a security company that monitors anti-social behaviour in the evenings during the summer weekends.
“In terms of parking concerns, we continue to work closely with our colleagues from North Wales Police to tackle problems connected to irresponsible parking.
“Officers from the Council and Police visited the Llanberis area over the weekend to tackle parking problems.
“We are urging people to use common sense and to follow the parking rules. We have seen examples this summer of people parking in totally unsuitable locations which endanger other road users and can make it access difficult for emergency vehicles.
“Clear signs are in place across the area warning motorists – those who ignore the rules face a fine or could even see their vehicle being towed away by the authorities.”