An extra £1.5 million for Pontypridd precinct – but for what?
RCT Cabinet meet this Thursday to discuss an investment programme of £12 million in a variety of projects across the county. The money has been made available following a recommendation by the finance officer that they do not after all need to keep quite so much in reserve.
The fact that the Leader has already announced how beneficial this will all be in a press release should leave no-one in any doubt that the proposals will be rubber stamped as is usual.
Amongst the plans is a proposal to spend £1.5 million on the currently derelict Taff Vale Precinct site. A series of planned developments on that site have fallen through and earlier this year the Council were granted money by welsh Government to purchase the lease on the site.
Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor and Pontypridd Assembly candidate Mike Powell says that whilst he welcomes any investment in the town he is bemused as to what the Council expect to achieve.
"There is absolutely no detail whatsoever in the report being put before Cabinet. It acknowledges that the development of this site is key to the future prospects of the town, and there is talk of it lending itself to a variety of uses.
"However there is nothing that says what this £1.5 million will be spent on. That amount will barely scratch the surface there, it certainly will not go far with regard to the redevelopment of the site, so what are they planning?
"At the last full Council meeting, in answer to a question from a Labour member, the Cabinet Member for regeneration said that it was important to involve local Councillors and residents in the future plans for the site. Yet they are pressing ahead and spending more money on the site without any such consultation or indeed any public information outlining what that money is being spent on.
"Millions of pounds have been spent in Pontypridd in recent years but so far there is little real evidence that the money spent has had any positive impact. There is a need to ensure that any future investment pays dividends."