My latest Argus column

Jan 30, 2023

Published 30th January 2023

Hidden within the beautiful valleys and across our natural landscapes, there is a growing concern that pollution is casting a shadow over our wonderful area.

We are lucky in Islwyn to have such beautiful natural landscapes surrounding our valley. However, it is our responsibility to protect our local environment. Minbox is constantly filled with residents expressing their concerns about the environment and reducing pollution.

I know that many people care about our area and are fighting hard to protect our natural environment for future generations. 

I have never forgotten the pollution that was in our rivers as I grew up, I am proud of how far we have come in cleaning up our environment and we cannot allow this progress to be put at risk by pollution, sewage or harmful chemicals.

The reports that water companies have been pumping raw sewage into our sea and rivers are extremely concerning. We have a duty to act to prevent any harm to our natural landscapes and environment from manmade pollution.

There are so many groups out there who work tirelessly to clean up our local areas. For example, the Friends of Nant Gwyddon Forest have come to me in the past and shared their concerns about the impact of off-road biking in the area.

People come from all over the country to take in the views of the valleys and explore them either on foot or bicycle. Ensuring people can access these spaces safely is vital. The work of groups like the Friends of Nant Gwyddon, and so many others, means these green spaces are protected and can thrive once again. We must continue the vital work these groups do to protect our green spaces.

Here in Islwyn, the growth of tourism and the business that comes with it has been a welcome development, but I fear if we do not protect access to our outdoor spaces and maintain them so they are open and safe places to visit, people will no longer come. 

Furthermore, with pollution growing and reports that water companies are dumping sewage into rivers across the country, these will only add to the destruction of these outdoor spaces and slow growth in tourism.

Over the last couple of years, the importance of access to shared outdoor spaces has become clearer. In the times when we stayed inside, having a place to go for fresh air and for children to play was lifesaving.

We know that our community is home to such beautiful landscapes, it is time we all joined together to protect them, for our generation and many more to come.

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