AS I write this column Bridgend County Borough Council is on the cusp of two notable achievements. A notable achievement is the progress from being near the bottom of the Wales councils league table on recycling to one of the top local authorities in Wales.
Credit where credit is due, however, the implementation led to significant problems especially for the residents of the county borough of Bridgend who must be complimented on embracing the concept of recycling and staying the course.
The negative and far more damaging second notable achievement is the “notoriety” for becoming the very first council to tax its residents for the same service and then in the end not even provide the service itself!
I refer to cabinet’s recent decision to close some of the last remaining public toilets in Bridgend, Maesteg and Porthcawl.
Residents are already paying for these toilets in their main council tax. When they were threatened with closure last year the Conservative Group suggested that the council tax increase being proposed should be further increased for 2018-19 in order to keep toilets open and our local supported bus services running.
Cabinet now plans to use that fund elsewhere but still close the toilets and remove support for local bus services unless town and community councils are prepared to take them on which will mean that residents will have to pay again through their local town and community council precept.
The negative legacy of this decision and behaviour shows a complete lack of respect for residents and visitors to the County Borough of Bridgend and has a hugely negative impact on the hard work by businesses to breathe new life and revitalise our town centres.
Residents understand that the council has to make very significant savings, however, they expect that “difficult decisions” are the “right decisions” professionally thought through, communicated and implemented.