A COUNCILLOR has hit back at a news article which claimed a Powys border town risked becoming a “dumping ground” like Llandrindod Wells.

An article posted on the Your Herefordshire website earlier this week asked a number of Kington residents their thoughts on the rising problem of anti-social behaviour and crime in their town, with fears raised that it is starting to mirror Llandrindod as a haven for problem individuals and people with drug problems.

Many had reportedly taken to social media to share their concerns over what appears to be a worrying increase in anti-social behaviour and crime in the market town, which sits on the A44 near Old Radnor and just over the English border.

A few Kington residents responded to a request from Your Herefordshire to share their views on policing and crime levels in the town. And one in-particular had a lot to say about the Radnorshire town, claiming “we risk becoming like Llandrindod Wells if something isn’t done and done quickly”.

Another resident said: “Kington and Llandrindod voted for a conservative government so complaining about a lack of funding and resources is a bit hypocritical.”

These comment were picked up by Llandrindod county councillor Pete Roberts, who said that while the spa town might suffer its issues with anti-social and criminal behaviour, chose instead to extol the many positive aspects of the town, as well as the community projects being undertaken there.

“Some of you may have picked up on Your Herefordshire publishing the historic stereotype of Llandrindod being a dumping ground for problem individuals,” wrote Councillor Roberts, who represents the Llandrindod South ward, on his Facebook page. He posted a letter he had sent to the website’s editors.

“I see again the myth that Llandrindod Wells is a dumping ground for ne'r-do-wells, druggies and problem individuals has graced your pages without any journalistic investigation.

“Rather than perpetuating a reputation from the turn of the century perhaps Kington residents might like to see what we have been doing to gain regular recognition as one of the best places in Wales to live.

“Of course, we are not perfect, we have a lively cannabis scene if you want to look for it and there are users of harder drugs too, but the days of ‘come to Llandrindod’ posters in English prisons went with the move away from direct payment to private landlords with the majority of that type of rental properties now being systematically refurbished as luxury leasehold luxury flats.”

Councillor Roberts went on to praise the multitude of schemes and additions to the town, from summer activities on the town’s lake organised by the new owners of Lakeside Boathouse, to the tireless work being done by the local town council and band of volunteers.

“But it's more than bricks and mortar it's about local community,” he added.

“We have regular litter picking groups across the town, new and revitalised friends groups waiting for the relaxation of Covid rules to improve the Rock Park and Lakeside area. And, as for the lake itself, a new outdoor games area was created by the town council and linked to a tidied up mini golf.

“New occupants of the boathouse are delivering eight hours of watersports every day in the school holidays and a brand new sandpit opened this month for our youngest residents.

“Even long-established organisations are involved, with the angling club running taster sessions for children and the cycle track around the lake allowing children as young as five the experience of riding on a road without the danger.

“And this established sense of community is paying off. When we set up a support group for shielding individuals last year over 100 members of the community volunteered to help, allowing us to keep support local within the town.

“As a result, when the council area suffered its first fatality from Covid in December there were only four others that had not had a fatality.

“So, yes, we are not perfect, and Covid has hit our emerging music scene and cafe culture hard, but if you expect to see drunks on every corner and needles around every bench you will be disappointed.”