In­de­pen­dent view

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - with Coun­cil­lor No­rah Clarke

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.

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