Llanelli’s MP Nia Griffith and AM Lee Waters met Lesley Griffiths AM, Welsh Government’s Environment Secretary this week, together with political representatives from the other side of the estuary, in an attempt to further progress on the issues facing the local cockle industry. They raised on-going concerns about the lack of progress on identifying the cause of the cockle deaths, anger at sewage problems and the issue of licensing.
Nia Griffith MP explained,
“It is wrong that cocklers in the Burry Inlet pay hefty fees for their licences, whilst next door in the three rivers area, there is what amounts to a free for all. We told the Minister in no uncertain terms that we are not prepared to wait until the end of the licence agreements so we asked her to look at this as a matter of utmost urgency to create a level playing field, and she has now asked her officials to bring plans for reform of the system before her next week.”
Lee Waters AM added
“We know that there is deep frustration and an apparent lack of communication between the cockling community and bodies like Natural Resources Wales, so we have also got agreement that we, as elected representatives, can attend the meetings between NRW and the industry and we are pressing for NRW’s review to be published by Christmas.”