Is Aberdare is a town fighting to stay alive.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Council have announced on the 19 September that there will be grants scheme available and the Cabinet agree to the introduction of a Town Centre Maintenance Grant scheme which will be piloted in Tonypandy and Mountain Ash.
Whether this is because we at AberdareOnline highlighted the state of empty and rundown properties in Mountain Ash on the 16 August, http://www.aberdareonline.co.uk/news/rhondda-cynon-taff/so-what-will-city-deal-doing-mountain-ash but who knows how this council functions. Sprucing up shop fronts does not fill the premises with local business or any other business?
Following on from the article residents went on Twitter to as the question about the state of some properties in Aberdare, and also the volume of empty shops in the town. One of the main concerns was how some landlord’s neglected property through lack of maintenance as most were in the Aberdare conservation area.
Having walked around the Town there are quite a number of empty properties now and the question is will it get better or will more shops close. The big problem for Aberdare is online sales the Cyfarthfa Retail Park just a few miles away in Merthyr, and now M&S store has opened there, contrasting with the Pontypridd store closing down in September 2015. Add to that Trago Mills will soon be opening in Merthyr with over 300 staff, will this have a knock-on effect for local traders in Aberdare, only time will tell.
Did the £7.7m project Rhondda Cynon Taf Council spent on the town in 2011 help get more footfalls into the town? Just looking round there is a lot of neglected properties, with utility companies not helping the look of the town when they don’t replace the paving’s after excavation, with Rhondda Cynon Taf Council having to be prompted by local residents to get paving replaced.
The question is has Merthyr got it right? If so what’s radically wrong at Rhondda Cynon Taf Council? The council seems content to allow development of housing in Cynon Valley and resident’s having to travel out of Cynon Valley to shop at retail outlets in Merthyr or Cardiff.
Thriving or surviving? How Aberdare Market traders see the future of their town
Residents have to travel to shop if items are not available local, as well as having to travel to work and/or find work on public transport that is not fit for purpose.
Below just some of the empty properties in Aberdare Town Center