I was pleased to see the overwhelmingly positive recent consultation response to the Council’s plans for the Llanharan Bypass scheme, with 95% of the written consultation responses supporting the delivery of the major project.
This administration has made a clear commitment to investing in and delivering a number of significant strategic transport schemes over the course of this Council term, including the Llanharan Bypass and the dualling of a section of the A4119 between Coed Ely and Ynysmaerdy. The completion of the Llanharan Bypass is contingent on the progress of the housing development in the area, with the middle section of the Bypass being constructed by the developer before the occupation of the 801st house, with the Council then delivering the remaining eastern section.
We are, however, continuing to display our characteristically proactive approach in drawing up plans and consulting with residents on the whole scheme in advance of this, with two options either side of the Service Station put to residents for the adjoining of the Bypass to the A473.
Staying with major investment projects, pupils in Tonyrefail will shortly be returning to state-of-the-art 21st Century School facilities when they return from the Easter break, with the Tonyrefail Community School scheme now constructed and fully furnished. I have to say that the school looks absolutely fantastic, with a brand-new building linked to the extensively refurbished Grade II Listed Victorian building via glass walkways. The 3-19 development forms part of the wider £85m investment in education across the Rhondda and Tonyrefail, which has been jointly funded by the Welsh Government, in providing modern and significantly improved learning environments for our young people.
Moving on to leisure investment, the finishing touches to the £450,000 improvements to Abercynon Sports Centre will take place at the end of the month, and these will require a full closure between April 20th and May 7th in order to be completed. The facility has already benefited from a substantial refurbishment of the pool area, which included a full re-lining and improvements to ventilation, lighting and filter systems, and the next stage of work will ensure that the pool remains accessible to all customers.
Residents may have seen in the media that two residents from the Rhondda have recently been prosecuted and sentenced for fly-tipping offences in the County Borough. This was one of the largest cases ever investigated within the County Borough and included 150 bags of commercial and domestic waste left on forestry land between Graigwen and Llanwonno, amongst other waste dumps. Whilst we would have liked to have seen an even tougher sentence handed out,we will continue to take a no-nonsense approach in investigating every single instance of fly-tipping and, where possible, we will seek to bring prosecution action against those found to be responsible.
I’d also like to wish all residents a very happy Easter for the forthcoming weekend. I’m sure that many of you will be heading to some of our award-winning attractions over the next few days. The Lido Ponty recently re-opened for the 2019 season and I’m sure it will once again prove popular with residents and visitors alike. 2018 saw a record 91,000 people going through the doors and I hope that 2019 will see that record broken once again. We also have the Easter Egg-stravaganza at the Welsh Mining Experience on Friday the 19th
and Saturday 20th
April, which will have an egg hunt and various Easter-themed arts and crafts activities; whilst there will also be an Easter egg hunt at the Dare Valley Country Park on Saturday 20th
and Sunday 21st
April, meaning that there are plenty of family-orientated events on across RCT over the Easter period.