Posted on 18/01/2017

In advance of Councillors scrutinising the feedback we received from our budget consultation process, I have been familiarising myself with feedback we received from residents in advance of Cabinet deciding upon our spending priorities for the next financial year.

Despite the tough financial challenges we will continue to face, I believe it is hugely important to have such priorities and ambitions for our County and it is thanks to strong financial management that we are able to target one off investment into projects and initiatives which can make a difference.

As a Council we are investing heavily in our transport and highways infrastructure, for example, with £26.5m as part of the wider, three year £200m RCTinvest programme. This is on top of the £53m we have already invested since 2011, meaning that by 2018/19 we will have invested over £79.5m in these key areas. This investment is hugely important to future proof key infrastructure and it is an area residents have rightly identified previously that they want to see a focus upon.

It is because of the strong financial foundations we have laid that we are able to make these investments. I do not believe any other local authority in Wales is investing in the same way or to the same level we are. In the current financial climate we continue to show ambition to improve the infrastructure that sustains our communities and businesses and attracts new investment.

I am well aware from the consultation events I undertook as Leader that this investment is incredibly well received and the majority of people recognised what the Council is seeking to achieve through this approach; everyone identified this approach as one they would want like to see us continue. The #RCTinvest section of the Council’s website, www.rctcbc.gov.uk/rctinvest  allows everyone the function to search by postcode to see how this investment has been spent locally.

To ensure this can continue, the Cabinet and I will need to make the right judgements as part of this year’s budget setting process, to ensure the Council can not only progress its short-medium term aspirations for the County Borough but also to ensure that longer term, no matter how tough the financial challenge becomes, we are able to take RCT forward. As part of this process we will seek to support the areas and services residents want to see investment take place in.

Everything we do forms part of a bigger picture in terms of the future we can offer and deliver for our communities. That is one of the reasons why Cabinet today agreed to remove car parking charges from Porth, Tonypandy & Mountain Ash and significantly reduce them in Aberdare and Pontypridd.

Find out more here: Parking in RCT

Posted on 18/01/2017