Clearing, cleaning, repairing, tidying - community pride will be a top priority for Gwynedd's communities as 2022 arrives, as Plaid Cymru Gwynedd's cabinet discuss investing £1.5million to ensure clean and tidy communities in the county at a meeting this week (30 November).
By employing officers, investing in vehicles and equipment, Plaid Cymru Councillors are keen to listen to residents' concerns about untidy areas that are in need of attention, and put in place a practical action plan to tackle problem areas within the county's communities.
Removing weeds and overgrowth; cleaning road signs; washing, repairing and installing street bins and dog fouling bins; clearing minor fly-tipping; touching up with paint and tidying of road verges – just some of the tasks that the new teams will look after within the county's communities from the beginning of the year, should the cabinet pass the investment proposal next week.
The Plaid Cymru Councillor with responsibility for the work, Catrin Wager (pictured), says the Clean and Tidy Communities scheme gives communities pride and credibility back to local areas: “My hope is that residents will feel that the overall appearance of their locality is improved, streets, villages and towns are tided up, and work will take place to improve the quality of their environment while tackling problem areas.
“Working with community, town and city councillors as well as local partners and organisations to identify areas, our work as county councillors will also be key to share where time and resources are needed to clear, tidy and clean up areas giving a real dose of TLC to community wards.”
Picture: Plaid Cymru Councillor, Catrin Wager at the bottom of Allt Glanrafon, Bangor shows the kind of work that clean and tidy community teams could do in areas across Gwynedd
The idea of community teams is not new to Gwynedd. The Tory austerity programme in Westminster, and cuts to county council budgets by the Welsh Labour Government over the years have forced budgets for community services across Wales to be eradicated.
“But having listened to what's important to our communities, here's a fresh approach to ensuring that investment is in place to make a real difference to the lives of local people within their communities. The Covid-19 era has been a difficult one for local communities, with in-action in areas due to the national restrictions. We hope now to instill new vigour and action for visual improvements,” said Councillor Catrin Wager.
“A sense of community pride gives residents purpose, it gives people a clear focus as they go about their daily activities, be it as they enjoy a breath of fresh air, walking to school or to work or going out food shopping.
“It is an important topic - a topic that is prominent in the minds of communities and is an issue that affects people's lives on a daily basis. We must thank the many organisations and voluntary groups who are doing heroic work in tidying, litter picking, flower planting etc. throughout the county. The Clean and Tidy Communities Team will be working with those groups, as well as the usual officers who work for different departments of Gwynedd Council in their endevaours. They'll be another piece in the big jigsaw puzzle.”
Plaid Cymru Councillors will discuss the financial investment for the Clean and Tidy Teams at Gwynedd Council's cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 30 November 2021.