Posted on 10/12/2018
Keep up to date with all the latest news from RCT Council’s Scrutiny Committees via the regular blog and updates 

I am delighted to be able to provide you with my first update as Chair of the Council’s Public Service Delivery, Communities and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee.

Over the past few months, our Committee has continued to play a vital role in acting as a critical friend to decision-makers as well as adding value to the policy direction for those areas under our remit.

Our Committee has grown in confidence and strength over the course of the last year, with Members continuing to work as one in our approach to scrutinising the Council’s provisions and plans in relation to its Public Services, Communities and Prosperity.

Our most recent involvement has seen the Council introducing and launching its new campaign to encourage community self-help during severe winter weather. The campaign, called Your Neighbours Need You, encourages residents to be ‘good neighbours’ when severe snow strikes, in order to help elderly and vulnerable residents. This was made possible after a working group was established by this Committee to discuss what the Council could do to help residents in these circumstances.

As part of this process, the Committee put a number of recommendations to Cabinet in October, which were approved. These recommendations included utilising the existing dedicated hotline for Elected Members during periods of severe snow, as well as the dedicated campaign and information and advice being published on the Council’s website.

I am delighted to say that the Your Neighbours Need You campaign was launched on December 5, as it aims to bring our close-knit communities even closer together.

We have also been involved in the debate and decision-making process around issues involving Communal Waste in Rhondda Cynon Taf. A presentation has been delivered to our Committee highlighting the fact that this is a problem our Streetcare Team face when it comes to waste collections.

Communal waste collection points are usually situated on private land, with a Council agreement in place to collect the waste from allocated locations. But landlords themselves also need to take responsibility for their tenants.

Taking the lead from our Committee, the Council has agreed to set up a Working Group to try to tackle any issues surrounding this.

The Council proactively tries to work with landlords and the housing sector through mechanisms such as Service Level Agreements in recognition of the fact that a collaborative approach will enable us to resolve problems at the earliest opportunity.

Our Public Service Delivery, Communities and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee has also been involved every step of the process in the way that the Council is tackling the County Borough-wide dog fouling problem by targeting irresponsible dog owners.

Such behaviour will not be tolerated in Rhondda Cynon Taf and as such, a year ago, the Council introduced a Public Spaces Protection Order in a bid to crack down on irresponsible owners.

Since then, around 250 dog owners have been issued with fines

Dog fouling is one of the largest subjects of complaints that the Council receives on a regular basis, costing hundreds of thousands of pounds to clean up every year - money that could be spent on key frontline services, which is absolutely vital in this period of continued austerity.

Once again, we are working together to make Rhondda Cynon Taf a better place for all of its residents.

We will continue our vital role as the Council’s Public Service, Communities and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee, focussing on issues which effect local communities and really matter to the residents we represent.

Diary Date - The next meeting of the Council’s Public Service Delivery, Communities and Prosperity Scrutiny Committee – Monday, 10 December (5pm)

Posted on 10/12/2018