Wiping RCT off the map

It's been going on for some time, bit by bit, year after year, services have been steadily moving out of Rhondda Cynon Taff.

The closure of Pontypridd Magistrates'' Court is the latest example. The Rhondda and Cynon ones of course closed several years ago with one of the excuses at the time being that it wasn't too far to travel to Ponty. Now the Pontypridd one is also to go leaving us without a Magistrates' court in the county. Instead people will have to travel to Merthyr.

Most of our Police services have already moved out, with many valleys stations closed and the main one in Pontypridd all but shut. Services instead have been transferred to Merthyr.

Our health services are not faring any better. Following the South Wales Programme review despite huge protest the decision was made that certain services should be removed from the Royal Glamorgan and moved to Merthyr and Bridgend.

Now the Welsh Labour Government and in particular the Minister for Public Services Rhondda AM Leighton Andrews wants to force an amalgamation of Merthyr, Bridgend and RCT Councils and wipe us off the map completely.

Whist we agree that there needs to be some reorganisation of Councils to form fewer of them, RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats are of the opinion that the proposed new Authority will be far too big and will remove people still further from engagement with the democratic process.

The current Council HQ in Clydach Vale and other buildings such as the Education department in Abercynon are inaccessible for many as it is not on a public transport route. What happens when the Council headquarters is in Merthyr? Where will other departments relocate? If recent experience is anything to go by it won't be in RCT.

When we had the previous Mid Glamorgan Council then under that there were the Urban District Councils which dealt with more localised issues. Whist there are community councils in Taff Ely and a couple in Cynon, there are none across much of RCT. So decisions will be made even further away from the point of implementation.

Even within the Labour party there is unease at this proposal but Leighton Andrews seems determined to press ahead should Labour be in power after May. His attitude to opponents was that they should "grow up" and come to an agreement -presumably an agreement to go along with what he wants before he starts stamping his feet again.

Karen Roberts

Chair RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats

Spread the love
Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *