Prime Minister sends letter of thanks to 17 year old who removed 40 tonnes of litter from Merthyr Tydfil
A 17-year-old from Merthyr Tydfil who removed over 40 tonnes of litter from his local borough has received Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s daily Points of Light award.
Disheartened by the sight of fly-tipped waste on a huge scale in the surrounding Welsh valleys, Daniel Lewis decided to begin a campaign to clean up the area in January 2021.
He ran regular group events encouraging local residents to get involved and worked with his local council and police force to launch an innovative fly-tipping prevention scheme, installing over 30 solar-powered CCTV systems near fly-tipping hotspots.
The scheme has now largely driven fly-tippers out of the area, and he is continuing to collaborate with local authorities and the police to pursue prosecution for offenders and ensure the countryside remains protected.
In a personal letter to Daniel, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said: “Removing over forty tonnes of litter from Merthyr Tydfil and the surrounding valleys is a fantastic achievement.
“I know you have also created an innovative way of preventing fly-tipping, by working with your local council and police to install solar-powered CCTV systems.
“So thank you for all that you are doing to restore the countryside to its natural beauty and to help your community take pride in the place they call home.”
The young man was described as a “true community champion” by MP for Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney Gerald Jones.
He added: “From a young age, Daniel has worked to protect the local environment and tackle fly-tipping in our scenic countryside.
“His work is truly inspirational, and I’m delighted that he has been recognised for his incredible efforts.”
Daniel is the 1976th person to receive the Points of Light award, which was first launched in April 2014 to recognise outstanding individuals making a positive change within their community and inspiring others.
Each day, someone, somewhere in the country is selected by the Prime Minister to receive the award to celebrate their remarkable achievements.
Daniel said: “Illicit dumping is a modern day pandemic which is sadly on the increase. My aim over the past two years has not only been to clean up and prevent fly-tipping in my local community but also to highlight this issue and raise awareness to the fact that this behaviour is illegal, financially crippling and hazardous to wildlife and our environment.
“This is not a legacy that future generations should have to suffer.
“I am so proud and humbled to have been recognised for this award and accept it on behalf of my local community and individual businesses that have encouraged and supported me every step of the way.”
Secretary of State for Wales, David TC Davies, said Daniel had demonstrated ‘remarkable commitment” and it was only right it was recognised by the Prime Minister.
David TC Davies said: “As well as displaying remarkable commitment, he has worked with partners across the community and has also shown the ability to find innovative solutions to the problem of fly tipping.
“Well done to Daniel for his wonderful achievement.”
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