What will our future look like with little to no investment reaching beyond Pontypridd?

What will our future look like with little to no investment reaching beyond Pontypridd?

The decline in Aberdare town centre is not news, the decline has been steady over a number of years, as regular followers of AberdareOnline would know as we have highlighted the fact and the lack of investment not only in Aberdare but also the Rhondda where they have the same problem our last story on this went out on April 2, now BBC Wales news has highlighted the problem in an interview with the leader of both RCTC and WLGA.

The leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Welsh LGA Andrew Morgan has suggested that out-of-town shops should be charged higher rates to reinvigorate struggling high streets. Andrew Morgan proposed using the extra money to support town centres, such as by improving public transport or making high streets more accessible.

Welsh Retail Consortium

The idea was met with some criticism from the Welsh Retail Consortium, which said it would add complexity and extra costs to businesses already grappling with financial challenges. The proposal comes as new figures show one in six shops in Wales were empty in the first quarter of 2023. Retail parks have also seen a rise in empty units, but their vacancy rate remains far lower than in town centres. The Welsh government has pledged just £100m to help reverse the decline of town centres.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council should end Car Parking Charges

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council can help traders and residents if it wanted to by stopping charging for car parking that would be a start in the right direction and cutting business rates, Aberdare traders now have to pay into the Aberdare Bid that’s just more expensive in an attempt to generate trade. It is an enforced payment for traders irrespective if you didn’t want to be included in the Aberdare Bid, is it working? Not if you read the BBC Wales news story? Why is the Aberdare Bid using a photograph of a London chip shop to promote Aberdare Town?

The City Deal or Cardiff Capital Region Regeneration Plan

Funding will be targeted in key locations identified across the region, which have been chosen due to their regional importance and their potential to maximise any intervention to support growth and reverse decline, by attracting new investment and growing more successful businesses, by improving our connectivity, but what about Aberdare?

Public Transport

 Councillor Morgan wants to improve public transport to get people into towns, public transport is on a downward spiral with the Welsh Government intending to cut bus services subsidies, bus operators cannot get staff because wages offered are too low therefore many local bus services are cut at short notice, train services for many years have been unreliable.

Take the train from Aberdare to Merthyr the price is £3.60 single the journey time is 1 hour 40 minutes with 1 change at Abercynon, the equivalent journey by bus is £5-30 single journey time of 30 minutes.

Splash the cash but not in Aberdare

With all this money to splash around why the need for the small traders to fund improvements to attract trade in Aberdare town when the Welsh Government has to send £150 million back to the UK Treasury, why was this money not used? Just more of Wales’s public money wasted, so nothing new there then, there’s RCTC sitting on millions in reserves watching the demise of its valley towns.

The Councillor suggests the introduction of an extra charge for out-of-town shops; let us not forget it was local councils who allowed out-of-town developments to proceed. Your local councils have helped cause a decline in town centres combined with the lack of investment plus Internet shopping.

Your Pontypridd Ltd

Pontypridd has also bid arrangement, Your Pontypridd Ltd the difference is it also has the backing of the Cardiff Capital Region as one of the re-emerging towns such as Bridgend, Barry and Caerphilly with more millions pumped into Pontypridd than any other town in RCT is this creating a fair system?

Looking at the minutes of the meeting for the Our Aberdare there doesn’t appear to be much attendance of local councillors and the board appears to have stopped publishing the minutes for some reason, then you speculate why.

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Team @ AberdareOnline

Team @ AberdareOnline

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