This week, two grand pianos - an upright and baby grand - were found dumped in a lay-by on the Blorenge in the Brecon Beacons National Park, sparking outrage amongst residents.

Following this, Cllr Tomos Dafydd Davies of Llanfoist Fawr and Govilon has called for politicians to get tough with litter louts across Monmouthshire. 

Paying tribute to the countless volunteers across Monmouthshire who give generously of their time to litter-pick across the county, including groups such as Keep Abergavenny Tidy, Cllr Davies has demanded a step-change in the local authority's own approach to tackling litter. 

In the past twelve months only a single Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) has been issued for littering across Monmouthshire. In the same twelve-month period, there were 558 reported cases of fly-tipping, and yet only a single FPN was successfully pursued by the authority. 

In response to this, Cllr Tomos Davies said: “For far too long, politicians of all stripes have talked tough on littering but have failed to grasp that bold and decisive action is required to get a grip of what is fast becoming endemic across Monmouthshire and the UK. 

It’s time the Council more aggressively pursued Fixed Penalty Notices against litter louts and protected our beautiful landscape from senseless acts of social vandalism."

At a recent meeting of Monmouthshire County Council to agree a revised Budget for 2023/24, the Labour administration agreed to opposition demands to undertake an operational review of littering across the county. 

This will include the potential earmarking of money for enhanced monitoring and enforcement, including the provision of cameras at known litter and fly tipping hot spots, money which Cllr Davies argues is long overdue. 

One area which remains a particular concern, however, is the scourge of litter along Monmouthshire’s trunk roads and verges, including the A4042 and A465. 

On the topic, Cllr Thomas shared “I am pleased that the Cabinet has listened to opposition demands and have grasped the scale of the challenge facing Monmouthshire.

"Whilst this additional resource is to be welcomed, it is only part of the jigsaw.  

"Our trunk roads and verges are drowning in litter, and yet I have seen no evidence from the Welsh Government-funded South Wales Trunk Road Agent (SWTRA) that they are prepared to entertain requests for lane closures along major roads such as the A4042 and A465 to conduct regular deep cleaning of our verges. 

Now, more than ever, we need a joined-up approach to tackling litter across our county. "