Many significant issues were considered at Cabinet this week including additional Capital Investment to support improvements in schools, play areas, sports facilities and our highways infrastructure.

This funding seeks to build upon the strong foundations laid through the £200M RCTinvest Programme to date.

As part of RCTinvest, the Council has already committed to investing £200m between 2016 and 2019. This substantial investment is already delivering significant improvements to the county borough through investment in priority areas and the future proofing of key infrastructure.

The strong financial foundations which we have maintained, despite the dramatic cuts to public sector funding we have faced, means we have been able to prioritise investment in important projects and facilities across the County Borough.

The additional £7M agreed by Cabinet will build upon the progress already being made across the County Borough, which has delivered major improvements to Leisure Centres, school buildings, new and improved sport and play facilities and the future proofing of key infrastructure, to name a few. Read more on the investment

We are committed to investing in areas which will make a visible difference and create tangible improvements locally for residents and this new £7M will increase the pace of these enhancements in communities across Rhondda Cynon Taf over the next twelve months.

Over the last year this funding has supported projects such as the Cross Valley Link and the Taff Vale redevelopment to take shape and come to fruition; both schemes have made huge progress in the last year thanks to this investment.

Investment in infrastructure will be a key part of the City Deal, which has now received the backing of all ten local authorities in South East Wales. The Deal will be formally signed by all ten Leaders on the 1st March with the regional Cabinet, to take forward this hugely significant scheme, formally coming into existence. My Office is currently in discussion with a range of business figures to hold a number of public events to highlight the huge potential of the City Deal and how our County Borough could benefit.

Cabinet this week also discussed our formal submission to pilot The Welsh Government’s new child care proposal to provide 30 hours a week of free early education and childcare for working parents of 3 and 4 year olds, for 48 weeks of the year.

We have been proactive in seeking to pilot this ambitious and radical childcare proposal here in Rhondda Cynon Taf. We welcome the funding being made available by the Welsh Government to allow local authorities to support the delivery of what would become the most generous free childcare provision in the whole of the United Kingdom.

Welsh Government recognises that childcare is one of the biggest challenges facing working families in Wales and developing an enhanced childcare offer is a top priority for them which we have sought to secure for Rhondda Cynon Taf residents at the earliest opportunity.  Subject to final Ministerial approval, it is anticipated that the pilots will commence in September 2017, with full roll out across all Welsh Local Authorities expected by 2020/21.

Consultation has now begun regarding the proposed introduction of a Public Spaces Protection Order encompassing a range of measures to tackle the issue of dog fouling and irresponsible dog owners. The Council has been working hard for a number of months to develop the proposed options to consult upon with residents. It takes times to develop such proposals because a formal legal order has to be consulted upon.

The proposal could potentially see measures such as Fixed Penalty Notices if dog walkers cannot demonstrate they have the means to pick up their dog’s faeces and a ban on dogs on Council owned or maintained sports pitches, introduced.

Residents will be able to have their say via an online survey or at one of the number of engagement events which are being held. Find out more information here:

Posted on 17/02/2017