Tourist tax ‘justified’ by need to clean up after visitors fill other people’s bins
Dale Spridgeon, local democracy journalist
The leader of Gwynedd Council has cited the ‘tourist levy’ as a solution to holidaymakers in the area who fail to ‘recycle properly’.
Councilor Dyfrig Siencyn said he was “aware” of the problem, adding that he believed it was “warranted” to raise funds to help solve the problem.
The issue was revealed at a full meeting of Gwynedd Council on Thursday June 23.
Independent Councilor Dewi Owen highlighted an issue with visitors to the seaside village of Aberdyfi who he said were ‘putting the wrong things’ in the black bin bags.
Some visitors, he added, also regularly filled other people’s bins with their trash.
Cllr Owen called on the council to ‘do something’, saying it was known to the council where the houses were.
He said: ‘There are over 500 second and holiday homes in Aberdyfi and many of them do not pay rates.
“They are the ones who do not properly sort their waste. They put everything in the residual bins.
Cllr Siencyn said: ‘I am aware of the issue Dewi and it is justified in my mind to charge a resort fee so that we can have additional resources to deal with such matters.’
Steffan Jones, head of the highways and municipalities department, added: “Yes. The point you raise is very fair, advise, it can be seen in many places across the county to be honest where vacation homes are located.
“You are absolutely right that they are not using the service we provide properly.
“We face the challenge of changing that procedure and for our recycling officers to go out and target and make sure we are delivering on the service we provide.”
He added that he would contact Cllr Owen “to look into”, in particular, what could be done about the problem at Aberdyfi.
Speaking after the meeting, Dolbenmaen Borough Councilor Cllr Stephen Churchman said: ‘I’m not against a tourist tax in principle but they’re not allowed to do it but they’re pushing it .
“It shouldn’t be seen as a penalty, it’s actually trying to raise funds to cover the cost of what we’ve spent in terms of the extra work created, we have to use extra staff to deal.
“Visitors bring money to the region, but on this one it costs us extra.
“I’m interested in this issue, particularly in terms of scrutinizing it, so that we can try to understand the full extent of the problem.
“If it’s only an occasional problem, why use a tax?
“But if it’s more extensive, we have to do something to recover the costs for us.”
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