WE are planning to attend one of the meetings organised by Pembrokeshire County Council, arranged primarily, we understood, to discuss waste disposal and future black bag collections.

As local residents, we were pleased to be given the opportunity to participate in a public consultation exercise and to have opportunities for discussion.

It now appears that the council’s policy and predecision scrutiny committee has already made up its mind. Prior to these acrossthe- county meetings. Irrespective of what anyone else thinks.

The current fortnightly collection of black bags is already inadequate. Not only for larger families, but for those of us who welcome visitors (paying or otherwise) to our homes from spring through to autumn.

We ourselves may only be a two-person household during the winter months; but from Easter until the end of September, that number can rise to four times that figure. And we do not always know which weeks are going to be busiest.

We already recycle any waste that can legitimately be placed in an orange bag; use the plastic containers and biodegradable bags for food waste; pay for a green wheelie bin collection of garden waste; and make our own compost.

However, the amount of remaining rubbish needing to be put in black bags is still substantial.

In warmer weather especially, black bags left out for more than a week produce maggots and encourage vermin – whether or not all the bags are put into dustbins. As all of us know, this presents a potential risk to everyone’s health; and is not exactly a good advertisement for our beautiful county.

Many people have already made the point about the likelihood of more fly tipping. To address this will use up any savings made by the introduction of a three weekly collection.

We both worked in the public sector prior to retirement from full time work. We fully understand about cuts to funding and the limitations this places on essential services.

And that this is a central government issue – not the fault of our council, that we believe tries to do its best for all residents, often in very difficult circumstances.

However, if Pembrokeshire County Council now needs to charge us more in council tax to maintain the existing level of service in this regard, we personally would accept this.

On two conditions.

Firstly, that this measure is properly costed out, and the monies raised ring-fenced for this purpose. Secondly, that we are properly consulted and kept informed at every stage.