A Plaid Cymru Member of the Senedd has called on the Labour Government to give more guidance to authorities when it comes to prosecuting environmental crimes on common land.
Peredur Owen Griffiths made the call during Senedd questions to the Rural Affairs Minister. The question followed a meeting with the leader of Caerffili County Borough Council about a number of issues on Eglwysilan Common between Senghennydd, Abertridwr and Penyrheol,
In the Senedd, Peredur said: “I raise this matter as there have been problems occurring on common land within my region. The current relaxed model of ownership and accountability means that all it takes is a rogue landowner to expose the inherent flaws within the system.
“Without going into too much detail about a local case that springs to mind, there is a glaring example in my region of how a landowner can get away with a multitude of crimes against the environment without significant repercussions from the authorities.
“I recently met with Caerphilly County Borough Council, and they told me how they are frustrated by the current arrangements. There needs to be clear lines of accountability, and swift enforcement action where needed, if we are to protect and preserve our precious common land for future generations to enjoy.”
He added: “Can this Government provide clear direction and guidance, so that bad practice is tackled robustly and deterred from happening again?
“And can the Welsh Government also provide direction, guidance and support for any remedial action that needs to happen?”
Rural Affairs Minister Lesley Griffiths, referring to the partnership work on common land between public authorities such as councils and Natural Resources Wales, said “unfortunately, sometimes, I don't think it's as collaborative as it should be.”
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