Clwyd South AM Ken Skates has secured a meeting for residents with a Welsh Government Minister over lead contamination on their land.
Labour AM Mr Skates had requested a date for Natural Resources Minister Carl Sargeant to sit down with his constituents from Coedpoeth and Brymbo in a bid to end a long-running issue which could leave residents thousands of pounds out of pocket. Eighteen households have been told they will have to foot the bill for work carried out by Wrexham Council to clear their land of the 200-year-old contamination.
Mr Skates has been working alongside residents for more than two years and is attempting to secure a funding commitment from the UK Treasury similar to one which saw the coalition help families in Scotland last year.
This week the Welsh Labour Government confirmed a meeting had been set for April 20.
Mr Skates said: “As I said previously, I realise the extreme demands on the Minister’s diary during a particularly busy period. I am delighted he has agreed to meet my constituents to discuss this important issue.
“The Minister is fully aware of how big a deal this is for the residents, who have been incredibly patient. I look forward to sitting down and discussing ways forward.”
Mr Skates added: “I will continue to do whatever I can to help deliver the right result for the residents, and I hope the UK Government will give some thought to helping them financially in the same way the Treasury did with homeowners in Scotland just a few months before the independence referendum.”
Julie Hinchliffe, spokeswoman for the Lead Astray lobby group, said: “The setting of the date with the Minister is welcome news for the residents, who are in the thick of campaigning for a solution to the bills we are facing. It’s good to have something positive to report.
“We would like to thank Ken Skates, our Clwyd South AM, for his assistance with this, as requests for Ministerial meetings have to be routed through the constituency AM, and also our regional AMs who have been engaging with the Minister.
“In the end, an equitable solution has to be found to this issue of no-fault homeowners facing huge bills for someone else’s contamination, and every step we take towards this solution provides hope not just for us but for the innumerable homeowners who are likely to find themselves in the same situation in the future.”