Posted on 21/12/2016

As Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council I was overwhelmed with the generosity shown by council staff for the Adref Christmas Hamper Appeal organised through the Cabinet Office. Donations of food came in thick and fast to the Council offices in Clydach Vale and I was proud to be able to hand it over to representatives from Adref.

Christmas is a time when many of us reflect on how grateful we are for our families, friends, health and homes but it is also a time for many to remember and help those less fortunate. The donations made by staff will go to homeless people and families in crisis in RCT and Merthyr this Christmas and were gratefully received by Adref – my sincere thanks go to all staff who donated items.

Homelessness and deprivation continue to be important issues for ourselves, partner organisations and Welsh Government and as a Council we continue to provide support through services and funding to charities such as Llamau, who support young homeless people. Over the course of the last year, in recognition of the impact of austerity on our communities and the high number of people reliant on Foodbanks, we have been pleased to support the four local Foodbanks by donating a vehicle and funding a Foodbank Co-ordinator post through the Trussell Trust for the county.

Of course we have a wider responsibility to help people out of poverty and to support people into homes and this will remain a priority for 2017 through the services the Council provides and through targeted investment in key areas such as employment opportunities, regeneration and schools as part of #RCTinvest.

It is through such investment and ambition that we can support residents to develop the skills needed to gain employment, create more jobs in RCT and make it easier for people to access them.

I’d like to finish my latest blog with a thank you to all those who have once again supported the Santa Appeal which ensures children less fortunate than others receive at least one present on Christmas Day. Last year over 3,000 presents were collected and thanks to the generosity of residents and businesses over 4,200 have been collected this year – thank you!

Posted on 21/12/2016