I am aware of longstanding concerns over the state of the Rhyl Cut and Prestatyn Gutter. Unfortunately, in legal terms, riparian ownership applies. In other words, it is the landowners on each side of the watercourse who are responsible for its maintenance. This is clearly not realistic and I believe a solution needs to be found whereby it is adequately maintained by the state.
Currently, limited maintenance is being carried out once a year by Natural Resources Wales (NRW), whose role is to maintain the land only so as to limit flood risk. Denbighshire County Council (DCC) has taken on the responsibility for litter located on the banks in certain areas. The general view, I believe, is that these combined efforts are insufficient. I am aware that residents can be plagued by rats, flies, stagnant water and fly tipping, and I am keen to do all within my power to raise the profile of the issue.
I have been in touch with both NRW and DCC to try and bring about a suitable maintenance regime but neither organisation feels able to take this on.
I feel that the only way in which we may be able to bring about the required change is to raise concerns in Parliament and I am proposing to present a petition in the House of Commons to highlight the strength of feeling locally. I am hopeful that, in this way, we will be able to encourage key decision makers within Welsh Government and regionally to take the necessary action and commit to a more regular maintenance schedule for the entire length of the Cut & Gutter.
I am keen to collect as many signatures as possible in support of the petition.