The raft of floating rubbish was said at times to extend almost all the way across the River Ely

The long battle by Penarth Town Councillor Cllr Garry Allman (Conservative St Augustines) to pressure the Cardiff Harbour Authority to do what it’s supposed to do –  and clear floating rubbish on the River Ely –  has finally paid off.

After 5 weeks of asking and cajoling (and emails bouncing back and forth for over a year) the Penarth river frontage has – at long last – finally been cleared.

Cardiff Harbour Authority said their boat-crews had difficulty seeing the rubbish on the water…But this is what it looked like – photographed from a non-Harbour Patrol vessel

A specialised rubbish launch turned up yesterday to clear tons of rubbish, driftwood, plastic bottles old footballs and floating car tyres which had been accumulating in a raft, like a miniature Sargasso Sea, outside private homes on the Penarth bank of the River Ely.

Cllr Gary Allman (Conservative St Augustines)

Cllr Allman had – at times – seemed to be fighting the battle alone, with precious little help from anyone else – including the Labour-run Penarth Town Council.

Despite having a representative on the Cardiff Bay Advisory Committee (Cllr Nigel Humphrey Labour St Augustines), Penarth Town Council appeared unwilling to kick-up too much of a fuss about the floating pollution with their Labour Party political bretheren across the Bay.

No action was taken by Vaughan Gething (Labour AM for Cardiff South and Penarth) or Stephen Doughty (Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth).

It took the opening of an informal back-channel with Cardiff Cllr Michael Michael (no relation to Alun Michael) to breach what had become – in every sense – a log jam.

The floating rubbish included accumulated driftwood, and scores of plastic bottles

This was an all-too familiar views from homes in Penarth Marina overlooking the River Ely

The mini-“Sargasso Sea” of flotsam even included a number of abandoned footballs which enabled Penarth Marina Residents to keep track of the raft of pollution as it moved up and town the River Ely.

Waterborne wildlife is being put at risk the rubbish accumulation

The sequence of events appears to expose a serious deficiency in the way Cardiff Bay is being managed by the Cardiff Harbour Authority – which pledges to clean the entire Bay area once a week …but evidently does not do so .




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  1. WTF says:

    Well done Garry for your perseverance and tenacity.
    It should never have taken 5 weeks to clear up .
    Gross misconduct and sheer incompetence.
    Pathetic when you think Vaughan Gethins house overlooks it all!
    I hope the electorate remember this incompetence when it’s election time.

  2. Christopher David says:

    Congratulations Cllr Allman. Shows once again what a feckless lot of lily livered Labour Louts we have in Wales. I wonder what the water quality is like in the Bay?

  3. whatsoccurin says:

    Looks like a good result but I must say the River Ely around Pont-y-Werin bridge this morning looked MORE polluted than usual.

  4. Johnabutt says:

    The person in the cleanup boat should have gone to Specsavers. The River Ely this afternoon was as full of flotsam as ever, if not more than usual.

  5. Pip says:

    Cardiff Harbour Authority – never seen them. Bet they take in enough of the public dime though.

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