A CLASH between Cardiff Council and disgruntled residents over the closing of the Waungron Road Recycling Centre which has lasted over a year continued last night as a vote was passed to hold a community referendum on the issue.
Despite the cold and windy weather, 189 Llandaff and Danescourt residents attended a trigger meeting to vote on whether there should be a public vote on two issues, including “Should Cardiff Council re-open Waungron Road Recycling Centre?”, easily meeting the minimum attendance figure of 150.
The second question voted on asked: “Should Cardiff Council revisit the proposed developments on greenfield sites in North West Cardiff in light of their potential impact on travel levels and the environment in Llandaff?” Both questions were approved with 100% of the vote.
Waungron Recycling Centre was closed last April, with residents told to use “supertip” sites at Bessemer Close in Leckwith and Wedal Road, Roath. However critics say these are too far away and often hard to access.
Last night’s meeting, which lasted over an hour, was run by representatives from Cardiff Council following the submission of a petition with over 200 signatures forcing them to convene a trigger meeting. The results of the poll do not bind the Council to any specific action but must be considered.
Last month Fairwater residents also voted for a referendum on re-opening the Waungron site. Campaign organisers now want to hold another trigger meeting in Canton.
Llandaff’s own councillor Gareth Aubrey was not allowed into the meeting, held at the the Bishop of Llandaff Church in Wales High School, as he was not on the list of registered voters.
Fairwater councillor Neil McEvoy, who has led the campaign to re-open the site and had planned to speak at the meeting, was also prevented from entering for not being a resident in the area.
Coun McEvoy said: “It is really great to see the people of Llandaff turn out in such numbers despite the rain. We were disappointed that we were not allowed in to the meeting to put our case across, but we are happy people have shown such their support.”
Coun McEvoy’s petition to re-open the Waungron site on change.org currently has 1,234 signatories.
Jacqueline Jones, a Llandaff resident, said: “It is completely ridiculous that we are being fined for not meeting recycling targets and then the close the most popular recycling centre in the city.”
Recycling levels in Cardiff fell by 2% in 2013/14 and the council could face a £21m fine if EU-set targets are not met.
Coun Bob Derbyshire, cabinet member for the environment, previously told WalesOnline: “The closure of Waungron Road Household Waste and Recycling Centre (HWRC) was consulted on as part of this year’s budget decisions and approved in full council at the end of February. “Our data showed that our HWRC sites were only operating at 50% capacity and in the extremely challenging financial climate we have to operate this is clearly unacceptable.”
Residents were also debating how to phrase their objection to the council’s Local Development Plans (LDP) for the area, which include 41,000 new homes in the Llandaff, St. Fagans and Fairwater area, 40 per cent of which would be on greenfield land.
Traffic problems in the area are already notoriously bad and critics say the influx of new homes would push the situation to breaking point.
Coun Aubrey said: “Cardiff Council say that are bringing people along on the consultation process for redevelopment plans to this area but the amount of resistance to their plans seen here shows that is simply not true.
“The Labour leadership say people are behind their Local Development Plans but that is clearly not the case. I am pleased so many people from Llandaff and Danescourt have come to vote tonight.
“The LDP has been filtered through the decision making process in pieces but it won’t work as a whole. It will make St. Fagans by far the largest ward in Cardiff and it will become totally unmanageable.”
Coun Lisa Ford, who also objects to the LDP, added, “The area does not have enough infrastructure in place for these plans to work.”