Page last updated at 06:12 GMT, Thursday, 9 April 2009 07:12 UK

Rubbish dumped at council offices

Robert Evans took pictures of rubbish he found in Blaenavon
Robert Evans said he decided to take matters into his own hands

A councillor dumped sacks of rubbish at a council headquarters to highlight the amount of litter on his town's streets.

Robert Evans spent five hours over the weekend collecting litter in Blaenavon, which received world heritage status in 2000 due to its industrial history.

The Blaenavon town councillor took the sacks to Torfaen council's headquarters and made his point to a senior officer.

Torfaen council said a Keep Wales Tidy survey ranked Torfaen among the best in Wales for street cleanliness.

Mr Evans, 53, said the council had responded to his concerns and sent workers to collect litter around Blaenavon the following day.

"There's been a lot of complaints of rubbish and fly tipping. I decided to take matters into my own hands," he said.

"I went to Llanover Road and I collected seven large sacks of rubbish - bottles, cans, food cartons, even condoms.

"I went down on Monday morning and dumped them in the foyer of their offices [in Pontypool]."

Rubbish on a Blaenavon street
Robert Evans took pictures of rubbish he found in Blaenavon

The former ironworks town of Blaenavon was designated world heritage status by Unesco because of the importance of south Wales as the "world's major producer of iron and coal in the 19th century".

But Mr Evans fears the amount of litter will leave visitors with a bad impression of the town at a time when it is trying to attract tourists.

"We've got Big Pit mining museum, we've got the ironworks and we've got the new visitors' centre and all the world heritage area," he said.

"Any time any friends or family come to Blaenavon from away, I always make a point of taking them to Big Pit. I'm so proud of the town."

He claimed rubbish had been a problem since the town lost its designated street cleaner last summer.

A Torfaen council spokesman said: "We have a team of officers responsible for street cleansing throughout Torfaen with specific cleansing schedules for each town.

"We believe this is an efficient and effective way of working which does not necessitate a permanent position in Blaenavon.

"This effective way of working was recently highlighted by a Keep Wales Tidy survey which ranked Torfaen amongst the best in Wales for the cleanliness of its streets."



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SEE ALSO
Centre wins architecture praise
29 May 08 |  South East Wales
Blaenavon heritage centre opened
25 Mar 08 |  South East Wales
What is a World Heritage site?
06 Apr 99 |  UK News

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