Last week, I attended the Welsh Local Government Association’s Annual Conference in Llandudno, where Alun Davies AM, the Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services addressed myself and my fellow Council Leaders about the Welsh Government’s proposals for Local Government Reform.
Whilst none of us would argue that changes do need to be made in the future, as the current model of service delivery is unsustainable in the long term, I am pleased that the Cabinet Secretary confirmed that the proposals would not be taken forward. I know that many of my colleagues felt that the Welsh Government’s proposals didn’t account for the financial stresses placed on Authorities by mergers and their consequent effect on job losses. It is absolutely paramount that future discussions fully engage with Local Authorities to determine the best blueprint for efficient and high-quality service delivery.
The beautiful summer weather has certainly brought the feel good factor into Rhondda Cynon Taf, and we’ve had plenty going on right across the County Borough over the past fortnight.
In Treorchy, the inaugural Rhondda Arts Festival Treorchy (or RAFT) has recently concluded, drawing 3 days of fantastic performances across a range of arts to a close. I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the Only Men Aloud performance on Saturday night, and I have to say that it was a thoroughly enjoyable experience. We are immensely proud of our cultural history, and the South Wales Valleys are synonymous with producing world class performers across a range of disciplines, and I think it is fair to say that the RAFT was a fitting tribute to that heritage. I’m sure I echo the feelings of many in saying that it was great to see the whole community coming together and I look forward to the next Festival, which I’m sure will be even bigger and better.
The National Lido of Wales, Lido Ponty, has also benefited from the summer sun, with record attendances making use of Wales’ only outdoor-heated Lido facility. Almost 8,000 people have booked over the last week, which I think is firm proof that we made the right decision in investing to re-open the much-loved facility a little over 3 years ago. I’m sure the Lido will remain hugely popular with the good weather expected to continue into next week, so make sure to book your tickets in advance online. We also have 200 tickets available for walk-up from 9am every day, on a first-come, first-served basis.
July also means that the Aberdare Park Motorcycle Races will be returning shortly. This annual event is one of the highlights of the Cynon Valley’s events calendar, and this year’s edition will take place on an improved race track after the Council supported the Aberaman Motorcycle Club in acquiring significant grant funding to undertake a resurfacing scheme in the Park.