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Lack of new town progress a re­lief

THERE is still no sign of any progress with re­gard to the Tal­bot Green new town, al­most five years since the ini­tial out­line plan was ap­proved.

The plans were given the green light, de­spite ob­jec­tions from nu­mer­ous in­di­vid­u­als and or­gan­i­sa­tions and a re­port com­mis­sioned by the coun­cil which said that the pro­ject would have an ad­verse ef­fect on other town cen­tres in Rhondda Cynon Taff.

RCT Welsh Lib­eral Democrats were against the pro­posal from the start, be­liev­ing we need to do more to pre­serve ex­ist­ing town cen­tres and also that the Tal­bot Green area is al­ready overde­vel­oped.

As I pointed out way back in Novem­ber 2011, the de­vel­op­ers have a record of plans in RCT that haven’t come to fruition. Valad Devel­op­ment for­merly Scar­bor­ough, for­merly Teesland, were granted per­mis­sion in 2003 to build a Sains­bury’s store and shop­ping cen­tre on the site of the Taff Vale Precinct in Pon­typridd. They did not go ahead with the pro­posal, ap­par­ently hold­ing out for an in­jec­tion of pub­lic money which never came.

In 2008 they were granted per­mis­sion on ap­peal by the Labour First Min­is­ter to build on green belt land at Mwyndy. This pro­posal, which was a joint one with the Welsh Devel­op­ment Agency had caused much pub­lic out­cry and was turned down twice by RCT’s plan­ning com­mit­tee. Thank­fully that didn’t go ahead ei­ther.

It now seems that the new town plans for Tal­bot Green will also be left on the shelf which will be a re­lief to many. Coun­cil­lor Mike Pow­ell Welsh Lib­eral Democrats Trallwn

Tax goes up but our wages don’t

THE dark shadow of fur­ther puni­tive lo­cal author­ity tax­a­tion is hov­er­ing over us.

Mil­lions of work­ers have re­ceived no wage in­crease for years.

Labour are ag­o­nis­ing over how and where they can squeeze more of our hard earned cash out of our pock­ets.

In Wales the Re­gional Coun­cil (Assem­bly) in­sists on main­tain­ing the ridicu­lously in­ef­fi­cient and waste­ful du­pli­ca­tion of 22 au­thor­i­ties.

Caer­philly is a clas­sic ex­am­ple with a sus­pended CEO still on full pay who has not done a tap for around five years. The other shin­ing ex­am­ples of in­ef­fi­ciency are Blae­nau Gwent/ Tor­faen and I have per­sonal ex­pe­ri­ence of the lat­ter at all lev­els.

A ques­tion which begs an an­swer in view of the con­stant rape of our very shal­low pock­ets and the crim­i­nal fact of overseas aid which clearly we can­not af­ford, who is fund­ing hun­dreds of thou­sands of im­mi­grants and asy­lum seek­ers in­ter­preters and god alone knows what else?

Con­sid­er­ing coun­cil clo­sure of li­braries, toi­lets and el­derly care, it seems the lo­cal res­i­dents, who at the same time are fill­ing the na­tional tax pot. Den­nis Jones New­bridge

Help us send books across the world

EV­ERY year at the be­gin­ning of March, school­child­ren across the UK mark World Book Day.

Many will dress up as a char­ac­ter from a favourite book or be part of spe­cial read­ing ac­tiv­ity – and fam­i­lies and schools will once again gen­er­ously give to char­ity.

World Book Day is a world­wide cel­e­bra­tion, but in many coun­tries, chil­dren go to school with just a few tat­tered text­books.

At Book Aid In­ter­na­tional, we send around one mil­lion books a year to thou­sands of li­braries and schools. Two thirds of these books are for chil­dren. They are read by mil­lions of young read­ers in 20 coun­tries.

We can only sup­port chil­dren around the world be­cause fam­i­lies and schools choose to sup­port us on World Book Day and I would like to thank all those who will do so this year.

If you are a par­ent or teacher look­ing for in­spi­ra­tion, please visit world-book-day, where you’ll find fundrais­ing ideas, fun ac­tiv­i­ties and spe­cially cre­ated free DIY dress-up guides (de­vel­oped with busy par­ents in mind!).

It costs just £2 to send a book, so ev­ery penny you raise will make a dif­fer­ence. Ali­son Tweed Chief Ex­ec­u­tive of Book Aid In­ter­na­tional

Kids love to dress up as Harry Pot­ter on World Book Day

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