Leader outlines council’s 2018 plans
THE leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council has outlined the local authority’s “ambitious” plans for 2018 that include new schools being completed, improving transportation and starting work on the Taff Vale site in Pontypridd.
Councillor Andrew Morgan said the council is optimistic “despite the financial challenges we continue to face”, and outlines specific projects that will receive funding.
He said: “Our direct intervention to secure a positive future for the former Taff Vale Precinct is a key example of how our approach and investment can deliver the regeneration and change that we all want for our county.
“With work due to commence on site in the first full working week of new year, the council continues to demonstrate how concrete progress for the county can be delivered in 2018 and beyond.”
He said despite initial scepticism from the public over the plans, the difference now was that the council’s “direct intervention and investment, with the support of Welsh Government” has placed the local authority “in the driving seat”.
He also said as part of the council’s 21st Century Schools programme, “exciting developments” are due to come to fruition in Rhondda and Tonyrefail during the year.
Speaking about care, he said the Cynon Valley’s first “extra care” facility would open its doors as part of a £50m investment in the sector.
Another big part of the council’s plans looks to be transport.
Coun Morgan explained: “Progress will continue to be made in the delivery of the Cross Valley Link; and I hope that the additional funding we have identified to deliver the dualling of the A4119 and the Llanharan Bypass will ensure continued progress of these two key highways schemes during 2018.
“We have certainly made the improvement of our highways a firm priority over recent years, with over 250 miles of carriageway being improved since 2011/12 by the end of this financial year – the equivalent of driving from Cardiff to York.”
Improvements to transport links in the Rhondda Fawr, “long seen as a problem for motorists”, would be made a “firm priority” for the local authority, Coun Morgan added.
He also said feasibility studies would be undertaken to look into creating a Treorchy link road at the “tail end” of the council term.
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Kregeneration, he said changes will be made to traffic arrangements in Tonypandy, which “will hopefully improve access and footfall into the town to support local businesses and shops”.
As well as that, “significant investments” will continue to be made in play and leisure facilities, as well as community hubs to fight the backdrop of financial pressures.
Much of the above, Coun Morgan added, would come from an additional £300m investment, which was announced earlier this month.
He was speaking ahead of the budget discussions, set to begin in January, and added: “Despite huge challenges, I remain incredibly upbeat about the outlook for RCT. Our approach to investment in key areas will continue to make a difference, delivering tangible and visible improvements which will benefit the whole of the county borough, both now and into the future.”
Work is set to start on the Taff Vale site early in the New Year
Councillor Andrew Morgan