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The Coliseum Theatre Aberdare is celebrating its 80th Birthday with a season of vibrant and exciting events that include a unique one-off afternoon tea, a series of classic film nights, a spectacular Gala Concert and a brand new comedy drama entitled Exodus, written and developed by Motherlode Theatre Company and set in Aberdare.

The 80th Birthday Afternoon Tea will take place in the Gallery Bar of The Coliseum Theatre on Wednesday 19 September at 1.00pm and will feature toe-tapping, sing-along music from Lee Gilbert, plus you can indulge your sweet tooth with a delicious array of cakes and pastries included in the ticket price of £4.00

The Classic Film Night series includes some absolute gems including one of the truly great classics and the most feared/loved film about the terrors of swimming, Jaws (12A) on Tuesday 25 September at 7.00pm, one of the quintessential films of the 80s, complete with a lightning-struck clock tower, the Enchantment Under the Sea Ball and a lorry full of manure, Back To The Future (PG) on Wednesday 26 September and Wes Craven's classic slasher movie featuring Freddy Krueger the disfigured midnight mangler, A Nightmare on Elm Street (18) on Friday 2 November 8.00pm. Tickets cost £6.15, concessions £3.70.
Exodus, written and developed as part of the Coliseum's 80th Birthday Celebrations and set in Aberdare, is set to premiere at The Coliseum on Friday 5 October at 7.00pm & Saturday 6 October at 2.00pm. Blisteringly funny, this heart-warming story follows four neighbours, each with their own reasons for wanting to escape the everyday grind of life, who hatch a plan to build a plane and take off in search of a better life.
Motherlode Theatre pride themselves on presenting relevant new drama that is inspired by real life stories and Exodus, written and directed by Rachael Boulton and co-produced by RCT Theatres is no exception. Tickets cost £12.00 and £10.00

The 80th Birthday Gala Concert on Saturday 13 October at 7.30pm promises to be a joyous evening of music and laughter, featuring Colstars, Showcase Performing Arts Society, Cwmbach Male Choir plus other special guests. This unique concert was developed to celebrate the Coliseum Theatre and its significance within the community. Packed with emotion, music and soaring performances, this very special concert will chart the history of the building and celebrate the special place it holds in people's hearts. Tickets cost £10.00, concession £8.00.

Councillor Rhys Lewis, Cabinet Member for Stronger Communities, Well-being and Cultural Services, says: "2018 marks the 80th birthday of the Coliseum Theatre, and what better way to celebrate than to mark the anniversary with a year of amazing and vibrant events - including spectacular performances, special events, participation activities and fun for everyone!"

Cllr Lewis continues: "This landmark year for our iconic and beautiful building culminates with this season of unique performances which were developed in the heart of the community, we're thrilled and delighted with the programme of events, and we're sure audiences will love them too"For more information or to book tickets call the Box Office on 03000 040 444 or go to www.rct-theatres.co.uk

Drinking in Public
The areas where you will be fined £100 for drinking in public in Aberdare and Pontypridd

A ban on street drinking will come into force in Pontypridd and Aberdare town centres from September.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council is trying to crack down on alcohol related anti-social behaviour in its two largest towns through a public space protection order (PSPO) which will see offenders fined £100 if they get caught and do not give up their drink.

Cabinet approved the proposal in April which also applies to other intoxicating substances.

As well as banning drinking in the street in Aberdare and Pontypridd, the PSPO will also make the whole of RCT a Controlled Drinking Zone.

This will mean police and authorised council officers have the power to request that any person stops drinking and surrenders their alcohol if they are causing, or likely to cause, anti-social behaviour.

The council recently launched a campaign called “Calling Time on Street Drinking” to raise awareness of the changes which come into force on September 1.

Why has this been put in place?

The proposal was put forward following the 2016/17 crime perception survey as part of the RCT Community Safety Partnership.

Almost a third of participants labelled alcohol as the single-biggest contributor to crime and disorder in Aberdare and Pontypridd.

So where will street drinking in RCT’s two largest towns be banned?

Aberdare’s no drinking zone will include the town centre, the nearby Ynys development including its playing fields, Aberdare railway station and the Gadlys Pit car park

Pontypridd’s zone includes Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd railway station, Pontypridd bus station and an area of lower Graig.

How will it work?

Police and council officers will carry out patrols in these zones and will ask anyone who they catch drinking to hand it over or throw it away.

If they do not, the officers have the power to hand out a £100 fine.

The council will be holding several public engagement events in both town centres throughout August to give people more information about the PSPO.

The council says that the PSPO could be wavered for authorised public drinking at organised events within Aberdare and Pontypridd, including Christmas markets and the Big Welsh Bite event.

What the cabinet member has had to say

Councillor Rhys Lewis is the cabinet member for stronger communities, well-being and cultural services.

He said: “The council recently launched its Calling Time on Street Drinking campaign to promote the new rules and, with less than a month to go until the PSPO comes into force, it is focusing on a targeted exercise to ensure residents are fully-informed – particularly in Aberdare and Pontypridd where the greatest changes will take place.

“This includes more than 20 engagement events taking place in the two towns throughout August, where people can speak directly with officers about the new rules.

“There are also dedicated pages on the council’s website with important information – including answers to frequently answered questions and maps of where the ‘no alcohol zones’ will be.”

Why the plan to regenerate our Valleys is 'going wrong'

The Welsh Government's critics argue its Valleys Task Force is not going to deliver the scale of change people want

There are serious problems at the heart of the Welsh Government's big project to help the South Wales Valleys, the director of the Bevan Foundation has warned.

Victoria Winckler has sounded the alarm bell about the Valleys Taskforce, saying it "means well" but fails to address the real problems facing a region that has struggled for decades to overcome the collapse of heavy industry.

She argues the Valleys economy has been "ravaged" and needs to be rebuilt - but she doesn't think the Welsh Government's programme can deliver such a transformation.
What is the Valleys Taskforce?

The Taskforce is the Welsh Government’s flagship effort to bring “lasting change” to the South Wales Valleys. It has three priorities:

Ensuring there are “good quality jobs and the skills to do them”
Supporting “better public services”
Strengthening local communities

It brings together some of the most senior figures in the Welsh Government with people from a business, academic, trade union and public services background.

A detailed progress report has just been published but Ms Winckler fears what the Taskforce is proposing is "simply too small to make a difference".

She is concerned that "the number of people who are unemployed in the local authorities that cover the valleys is at best static and at worst going up" and points out that in some areas around "one in four young men is out of work".

This is what Victoria Winckler says is ‘going wrong’ with the taskforce
1. A lack of focus

Ms Winckler says the area covered by the Taskforce is too big and includes “greater Cardiff” and parts of South Wales “where there isn’t an economic problem and where people almost certainly do not think they are from ‘the Valleys’.”

She said: “Even worse, the slippery geography allows developments to be presented as being ‘in the valleys’. For sure, Treforest is up the A470 but to someone living in Tredegar or Treherbert it may as well be in Cardiff – it is in the upper parts of the valleys the most acute challenges lie and where effort should be targeted.”

How Valleys public services are supposed to change by 2021

The Welsh Government says: "Public services will be working with the third sector and local communities to respond to people’s needs.

"Support will be available to help people lead healthier lifestyles, improving their physical and mental wellbeing and addressing health inequalities.

"Public transport will be joined-up, affordable and help people get to work, school or training and to leisure facilities.

"We will improve education outcomes for all children and close the attainment gap."

2. A failure to address the big problems

The Bevan Foundation director says the deliver plan fails to address the deep-rooted problems facing the Valleys – “the weakness of the local economy and labour market and the shocking lack of skills and qualifications”.

Ms Winckler argues that “creating hubs for digital businesses” and “relocating some public sector jobs” simply won’t make the difference needed.

She writes: “They need a wholesale reinvention and rebuilding of an economy ravaged by coal and steel closures and by successive recessions. It is NOT impossible to rebuild economies – and the Valleys should not be left to wither.”

How Valleys jobs and skills are supposed to change by 2021

The Welsh Government says: "We will close the employment gap between the South Wales Valleys and the rest of Wales – this means helping an additional 7,000 people into work and that thousands of new, fair, secure and sustainable jobs will be created in the Valleys

"People living in the Valleys will have access to the right skills to gain work.

"Businesses will be fully supported to grow and thrive in the South Wales Valleys."

3. Too small a vision

Ms Winckler warns that too many of the solutions put forward by the Welsh Government are “simply too small to make a difference”.

This is not the time to “fiddle round the edges,” she argues, adding: “I’m sorry to say this, but although the Taskforce means well it is simply too little, over too large an area, and doesn’t address the underlying problems.”

How Valleys communities are supposed to change by 2021

The Welsh Government says: "A Valleys Landscape Park will have been set up to help local communities celebrate and maximise the use of the natural resources and heritage.

"Valleys town centres will be vibrant places, with attractive green spaces, which support local economies.

"The Valleys will be a recognised tourist destination, attracting visitors from across Wales, the UK and beyond."

It is not only Victoria Winckler who has concerns

Kevin Morgan, Professor of Governance and Development at Cardiff University and the chair of the Yes campaign in the 1997 referendum, strongly agreed with Ms Winckler.

He said: “I totally endorse every word that Victoria Winckler says here and I would go further... The model of development will not deliver even if the targets are rendered more ambitious because Government cannot possibly deliver.

“Government needs to recognise that, apart from its own investments and activities, its key task is to enable others to help themselves because all players must be enjoined and enabled to play a role in regeneration. As regards targets, I would prioritise much more – the spatial focus should be the Upper Valleys; the sectoral focus should be jobs and education in schools and FE; and the strategic focus should be that every body should be tasked with regeneration tasks and held to account because all too often there are no consequences for poor performance, which is why I say that good practice had been a bad traveller in Wales, especially in public procurement.”

We asked experts what could be done for deprived parts of the south Wales Valleys

What does the progress report say?

The Welsh Government insists it is making progress on jobs. It highlights:

“More than 1,000 economically-inactive people living in the Valleys Taskforce areas have started work through Welsh Government-led employment programmes since September 2016.”
“Nearly 1,000 people and small businesses have been helped through advice and business support and more than 100 new enterprises have been created within the Valleys Taskforce area during 2017-18.”
“More than 5,000 apprenticeship programme starts by those living within the Valleys in the 2016-17 academic year.”

In April, digital pilot schemes were approved to provide “better and wider access to free Wi-Fi” and an “Uber-style app for people who need to order NHS or community transport”.

Public money will be focused on seven “strategic hubs” to “provide opportunities for the private sector to invest and create new jobs”. These are Caerphilly/Ystrad Mynach, Neath, Ebbw Vale, Pontypridd/Treforest, Merthyr Tydfil, Cwmbran and “northern Bridgend”.

The progress report also highlights how initiatives in areas such as childcare, affordable housing and the South Wales Metro and the proposed Valleys Landscape Park have the potential to improve the region.

What does the Welsh Government think of the criticism?
Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services Alun Davies

Alun Davies, the AM for Blaenau Gwent and Cabinet Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, rejected any suggestion the Welsh Government was "not being ambitious enough" - but he welcomed the comments from the Bevan Foundation.

He said: "I thought it was a very good response, actually. I thought it was very well articulated, and I thought it made some very fair points. Can I say more than anything that I share the same frustration?

"Because I want to see a greater tempo of change... I think it's right and proper that that sense of impatience underpins a lot of our debate and much of what we say.

"Because I don't believe for one moment, and I don't seek to make any claims, that all in the garden is rosy, and I don't seek to make any claims that we have, in a little more than 18 months, turned around nearly a century of decline... I think it would be absurd were I to come to the chamber and make those claims, and I think it would be absurd were the Government to seek to make those claims on our behalf.

"That's not what we are saying. In my statement, I said we were planting the seeds for sustainable transformation, and that is what we are seeking to do."

Plaid Cymru AM and leadership contender Adam Price said: “The vehicle for the Welsh Government’s Valleys policy is simply not of the scale required to deal with the challenge in regenerating the Valleys communities. A Taskforce with no real budget and which lacks political clout both inside and outside of government, simply does not have the ability to transform.

“Contrast this with the city regions which have both money and political buy-in. In order to effectively deliver and transform the Valleys in a way that will improve the lives of the people who live there, the Taskforce needs to be turned into a fully-fledged delivery body with the funding and influence required to deliver on its outcomes.

“Until that happens, the Valleys will unfortunately always be on the losing side of the economic divide”.

This is what Victoria Winckler made of the progress report

She said: “The progress report on the Valleys Task Force’s first year is a bit of a curate’s egg. It shows that a lot of action is underway to improve the economy, improve public services and strengthen communities.

“Most people would find little to object to. And that’s partly why we’re concerned.

“One problem is that there isn’t much that is specific to the Valleys – a lot of actions in the progress report are actually Wales-wide schemes – things like employment programmes, support for businesses, the offer of child care, social prescribing and grants to support bus services.

“So we’d question how far the Welsh Government really is prioritsing the Valleys. Another problem is whether the Task Force is ambitious enough.

“The figures quoted sound impressive – 1,000 people into work, 100 new businesses. But we should remember that the Valleys have a population of around 700,000 people, making the achievements modest for an area of this size and tiny compared with the scale of the challenge...

“On top of this, the mostly small-scale initiatives have to be seen against cuts in public spending. At the same time as the Welsh Government claims to be improving access to vocational training, the Auditor General for Wales has warned that colleges may struggle to maintain provision after £22m of cuts and councils are closing Valleys schools – such as Cymer Afan Comprehensive – to save money.”

She added: “The ultimate test of course is not glossy reports, but whether the Welsh Government achieves any change on the ground. We fully accept that change takes time.

“But one of the earliest indicators of how well an area is doing is unemployment – and there’s no sign yet of any improvement. Many people in the valleys feel abandoned.

“The Welsh Government has to prove that this Valleys initiative is different to all those that have gone before.”


Council chief reveals how he plans to fund reopening the Rhondda Tunnel

The project to reopen the Rhondda Tunnel has taken a huge step forward with the leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council saying that it's now a matter of “when, not if”, the Rhondda Tunnel reopens.

Speaking on the the day council formally lent its backing to the opening of the tunnel which runs between Blaencwm in the Rhondda Valley and Blaengwynfi in the Afan Valley, council leader Andrew Morgan revealed how he met with representatives of the Rhondda Tunnel Society to outline how the council would support making the project a reality - and it means the reopening could be less than three years away.

As part of an ambitious plan that also includes includes the reopening of a second former railway tunnel, the Abernant Tunnel – which runs between Aberdare and Merthyr, the money for both projects could come directly from the millions available via the Welsh Government's Active Travel fund.

The fund offers local authorities the opportunity to bid for funding to boost walking and cycling, improve safety and support the economy.

The Welsh Government recently made the announcement of an extra £10m this year, £20m next year and £30 million the following year - additional money over and above the normal yearly allocation.

RCT leader Morgan has now thrown his full support and that of his council behind the Rhondda Tunnel Society's aims to turn the former railway tunnel into a public asset that would provide a huge boost for tourism and the wider economy in both the Rhondda and neighbouring Afan valleys.

If re-opened the Rhondda Tunnel would provide the longest cycle tunnel in Europe and the second longest in the world, ensuring the potential for the site to become a major visitor attraction, not just for Rhondda Cynon Taf, but the whole of Wales.

'A mile into darkness and a mile out the other side’ The magical story of one boy's dream to re-open the Rhondda Tunnel

The plan would see the council bidding for Active Travel funding to work out just how much it would cost to reopen both tunnels.

“The Rhondda Tunnel Society have already achieved so much, but now there's another huge step and that's understanding what work is needed inside and outside the tunnel to bring this to fruition.

“We're bidding for around two to three hundred thousand pounds and that money will be split between both the Rhondda and Abernant Tunnels.

“That will fully inform us then in terms of making a more significant bid in the next financial year bringing together a package of funding to be able to take his forward.”

If successful in securing funding the council would then launch a project that would reveal the true scale of what is needed and how much it would cost.

“There is much we need to consider – how much would it cost to build a car park, and a visitor centre, what lighting would be needed.

“It has to be fully measured and costed and we need to discover what would we need to open both tunnels.

“Some of that work has already been completed by the Rhondda Tunnel Society, but by the end of this finacial year we expect to have a report that has all the information that would tell us if we were to open the tunnel exactly how much it would cost.

“That would then allow us to say to Welsh Government, we want bid for x amount.

“That would then indicate if they maybe interested in putting substantial funding in place for the project.

“There is also substantial funding available from the likes of the Pen Y Cymoedd Wind Farm Fund, Heritage Lottery Funding, as well as the Active Travel funding opportunities through local authorities – Rhondda Cynon Taf, potentially Neath Port Talbot and potentially Merthyr.

“There's a whole funding package that will need to be put together once we known what those costs are.

“And, of course, local authorities may want to add contributions if we can see the economic benefits.

Rhondda Tunnel sees first light of day in 40 years in major step forward

Morgan revealed he had already met with Welsh Government Minister Ken Skates, and had discussions with the council leaders of both Merthyr and Neath Port Talbot,

“We're all pretty much on the same page with it,” he added.

Despite the amount of wok that lies ahead Morgan is confident that he will see both tunnels reopen in three to four years.

“My view is it's a case of when and not if,” he said. “My view is also it can't be the one tunnel it needs to be the both.

“Out of the two my understanding is that the Abernant Tunnel is the easiest and quickest to open, but with development funding from Welsh Government via the Active Travel fund and with a firm commitment from everybody there's no reason why both those tunnels couldn't be opened in a very similar time frame and we're talking a matter of just a few years.

“Withtin the next three to four years I would like to see both the tunnels open.”

He added: “If these two projects could be delivered side-by-side, Rhondda Cynon Taf would offer one of the most attractive and impressive Active Travel destinations in Europe, and probably a world first on this basis alone.

“We have a real opportunity here, to deliver a game-changing project, and the council will do all it can to support the progression of the next steps - both practically and in terms of securing wider support from Welsh Government, and we will continue to work with both neighbouring Councils - namely Neath Port Talbot and Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Councils.

“Realistically if the business plan stacks up, and unless there is something fundamentally wrong with those tunnels my comment would be 'why wouldn't we do this'?”

Understandably the Rhondda Tunnel Society were thrilled by the news.

Plans to reopen Rhondda Tunnel receive huge boost thanks to £90,000 grant

Stephen Mackey, Chair of the society, said: “We are thrilled by this offer of support from both Rhondda Cynon Taf and Neath Port Talbot Councils, and are delighted that Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is taking the initiative to move the project forward.

“The Society formed out of the interest aroused when the long-lost tunnel headstone was found in 2014; where it was later repaired and unveiled at Treherbert Station. Now, it looks as if this is only a temporary resting place before the headstone returns to its proper home above the entrance to Europe’s longest walking/cycling tunnel, and the tunnel can earn its keep once again.

“The Rhondda Tunnel Society has a team of retired civil and mining engineers who have the technical expertise to guide the project, collaborating with the residents of the Afan and Rhondda Valleys who want to provide better opportunities for future generations.

“We have done research on other abandoned railway tunnels that have found a new life as cycle/walking routes and found that they are hugely popular, so we should be planning for lots of visitors.

“South Wales has the highest density of traffic-free cycle routes anywhere in Britain, and we want to see the Rhondda Tunnel be the centre of a network of rides and walks, many circular, that will bring visitors from all over Britain and the wider world.

“This will help spread the economic benefits more widely in Wales. As elsewhere, the tunnel can also play host to big sports events.

“We do urge Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to develop the wider infrastructure that will be required, in particular a cycle route up to the tunnel from Porth, traffic-free as much as possible and the rest on back streets; this will again spread the benefits of Active Travel down the Valley.

“We are hugely grateful to the Pen Y Cymoedd Wind Farm Community Fund which has provided the society with the funds to carry out a detailed examination of the tunnel. Indications from this examination are that whilst the tunnel needs repairs, most of it is in remarkable condition, and this is enabling Rhondda Cynon Taf Council to take the bold initiative to bring its ownership, restoration and benefits to the people of Wales.”


Abercynon Leisure Investment

A total of £250,000 is being spent on improvements at Abercynon Sports Centre in the coming months as part of the Council’s on-going #RCTinvest programme.

Works include the relining of the main pool, along with an upgrade of the pool hall ventilation system and improved ceiling and lighting.

This forms part of the Council’s continued commitment to create modern, attractive leisure centres that encourage residents to enjoy a healthier lifestyle through its Leisure for Life initiative.

In order to facilitate the improvement works at Abercynon Sports Centre, the existing swimming pool is temporarily closed to the public from Monday, August 13 until October. However, the swimming pool at the nearby Sobell Leisure Centre, Aberdare, is a fantastic alternative

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services, said: “The swimming pool has been very popular at Abercynon Sports Centre for many years, attracting lots of swimmers of all ages and abilities. The Council is investing in this in order to future-proof the pool to provide a facility for future generations to enjoy.

“The Council has committed to creating a healthy and active Rhondda Cynon Taf and has recognised Leisure as a priority in achieving this. To date, over £3M has been invested into this area as part of our ongoing #RCTinvest programme.

“Abercynon Sports Centre is the latest leisure facility to benefit from this investment.

“We would like to thank residents for their patience and understanding as contractors carry out the improvement works at Abercynon Sports Centre, and we hope they will make the most of the new and improved facilities in the months and years ahead.”

All customers who have swimming lessons at the pool will have their places secured and all payments frozen until the swimming pool reopens to the public.

Direct Debit payments for swimming lessons for the month of August will also be reduced by 50 per cent.

There will be limited places available for swimming lessons at pools within the Council’s other leisure venues for the duration of the temporary pool closure at Abercynon. To discuss alternative locations, please call 01443 562202.

Public swimming will also be available at the Council’s neighbouring leisure centres throughout the improvement works at Abercynon Sports Centre. All other facilities and classes at Abercynon will remain unaffected during this period.

The £250,000 being spent on improvements at Abercynon Sports Centre is in addition to the £3m that has already been invested in leisure centre improvements across the County Borough in recent years as part of the Council’s wider ongoing #RCTinvest programme.

Leisure for Life is an easy, affordable leisure membership that was introduced in line with the Council’s investment to encourage more people to get involved in leisure activities across Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Leisure for Life members can enjoy unlimited access to Abercynon Sports Centre, as well as, swimming, classes and indoor sport at all other Council Leisure Centres.

Are you a Leisure for Life member? If not, register online today

For more details of all on offer at Abercynon Sports Centre visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk or call 01443 740141


Abercynon Leisure Centre Investment Continues

The Council has confirmed that the changing rooms at Abercynon Sports Centre will soon undergo a significant refurbishment, thanks to £140,000 works funded through #RCTinvest.

A recent announcement by the Council detailed a significant £250,000 investment throughout the Sports Centre in the coming months – including relining its main pool, upgrading the pool hall ventilation system and improving ceilings and lighting. This will complement upcoming changing room improvements in Abercynon, agreed by Cabinet in October 2017.

The wider £750,000 changing room scheme – to refurbish leisure centre changing facilities across Rhondda Cynon Taf – began in February 2018. The first schemes were in Bronwydd Pool in Porth and Rhondda Sports Centre in Ystrad, while Abercynon Sports Centre will soon benefit from the investment.

An initial phase of works in Abercynon will see work carried out on relining of the main pool, along with an upgrade of the pool hall ventilation system and improved ceiling and lighting.

These works will then be followed by a second phase, of around £140,000 investment, which will include new changing room lockers and cubicles, works to shower facilities, repainting of walls and doors, and the replacement of ceilings and lighting. The Council will confirm the arrangements to facilitate the second phase of the works shortly.

Councillor Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Leisure and Heritage Services, said: “I am pleased with the progress being made with improving changing rooms at leisure centres across Rhondda Cynon Taf, after Cabinet agreed to release the funding last year. The investment forms part of the Council’s continued commitment to create modern leisure facilities in order to support its popular Leisure for Life initiative.

“Building upon the ongoing £3m Leisure investment across the County Borough through the #RCTinvest Programme, the Council recently announced a significant £250,000 improvement scheme at Abercynon Sports Centre – and this is on top of the previously-agreed changing room scheme.

“The changing room upgrades will be split into two phases – an initial £250,000 scheme, which will see the relining of the main pool, along with an upgrade of the pool hall ventilation system and improved ceiling and lighting. This will then be followed by a separate £140,000 scheme, which will see new lockers, cubicles and shower facilities installed, rounding off the significant wider investment at Abercynon Sports Centre for users to enjoy for years to come.”

Are you a Leisure for Life member? If not, register online today.

Leisure for Life is an easy, affordable leisure membership that was introduced in line with the Council’s investment to encourage more people to get involved in leisure activities across Rhondda Cynon Taf. Members can enjoy unlimited access to Abercynon Sports Centre as well as, swimming, classes and indoor sport at all other Leisure Centres across the County Borough.

For more details of all on offer at Abercynon Sports Centre visit www.rctcbc.gov.uk or call 01443 740141. Keep up to date with the latest leisure and fitness news around Rhondda Cynon Taf by searching for and liking your local/preferred Council leisure centre on Facebook.


Water mains bursts on Rhigos Mountain Road

There are traffic lights in place while the repair work is completed

A water mains has burst on Rhigos Mountain Road causing some disruption.

The water mains burst near to the power station.

There are two way traffic lights in place between the A465/A4059 (Rhigos Roundabout, Hirwaun ) and the B4522 Dunraven Street (Treherbert) while repair work is completed.

Welsh Water said it expects the repair work to take a couple of days to complete.


Mayor's Pledge To Young People

Two main priority areas for Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Mayor during his year in Office are the young and the elderly.

Mayor, Councillor Steve Powderhill, is just two months into his role and says he is using his time to focus on the things he feels passionately about.

Born, raised and educated in the Pontypridd area, and living there all of his life, Councillor Steve Powderhill cares greatly about his community and has been the elected County Borough Councillor for Treforest since 2012.

But since becoming Mayor earlier this year, he is also using his role to focus on communities across the County Borough, as well as helping to raise the profile of many charities and organisations.

Educated at Pontypridd Grammar School and Technical College, Rhydyfelin, Councillor Powderhill has been a professional photographer for over 35 years.

During his year as Mayor, he is keen to meet as many people across the County Borough as possible - and has already had a busy few months since his inauguration at the Council’s AGM in May.

He will be supporting many charities during his year of office, including Giving To Pink, Welsh Hearts and Velindre Hospital, as well as giving his support to children living with diabetes in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Councillor Steve Powderhill, said: “The role of Mayor is one of significant importance and one I take very seriously. I believe there are three vital functions of the Mayor’s role - civic, democratic and charitable.

“I have already conducted a Freedom of the County Borough ceremony in honour of MOD St Athan and all Royal Air Force Personnel, Past and Present, along with a very successful Armed Forces Day celebration and commemoration event.

“I have hosted the Rhondda Cynon Taf girls’ football squad at the Mayor’s Parlour in Pontypridd, and many more organisations, and have been invited to 100th birthday celebrations right across the County Borough.

“The civic and charitable elements of the role are two crucial aspects that I feel very passionately about. The young people of today are our future, but we also have to give thanks and recognise the contributions that our older generations have made to our communities.

“This is why I intend to visit many more schools, care homes, charities and local organisations during my term of Office.

“I have a great passion and pride for the work our young people carry out on a regular basis. These people are our future and we have a great wealth of talent amongst our young people.

“This talent just needs to be nurtured for the better of our County Borough in years to come. Our future will be safe in their hands, and as Mayor, I want to leave a legacy for the youth of today as they are our adults of tomorrow.”

Councillor Powderhill says it is intention not to host a Civic Service in 2018/19, but instead he wants to reach out to as many communities across Rhondda Cynon Taf as possible.

He also aims to support many charities along the way, including Macmillan Cancer Support and plans on hosting three Charity Golf Days - one in the Cynon Valley, one in Pontypridd and one in the Rhondda.

Supporting children who are living with diabetes is also something close to the heart of the Mayor as his own grandchild has Type I Diabetes.

The Mayor’s Chaplain for 2018/19 is Reverend Peter Lewis, of St Catherine’s Church, Pontypridd.

The role of Mayor is a far-reaching one, of which raising charity funds is just a part. As the First Citizen of the County Borough, Mayor, Councillor Steve Powderhill will also support a number of civic events, including the Council’s important support of The Festival of Remembrance, Remembrance Day, Christmas events, the Nos Galan Road Races and many more.

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