|Home.......Latest News.....About Cynon Valley......Local Attractions......Whats On.......Contact Us......Businesses A-Z.|
OF OUR VALLEY
Community angered after spate of burglaries
in Cynon Valley
Residents are planning to set up a new neighbourhood watch group for the
Angry and concerned people living in the Cynon Valley are planning to set up a neighbourhood watch group after a spate of burglaries in the area.
Coun Andrew Morgan, cabinet member responsible for frontline services, discussed the issue of the break-ins at a recent PACT meeting (Police and Communities Together) which took place around two weeks ago.
But since then, there have been several more break-ins with two over the weekend.
One of the break-ins was reported to have been in Mountain Ash while the family were in bed.
It is hoped that a neighbourhood watch group can be formed so people living in Cynon Valley will have extra protection.
Coun Morgan, who will be attending the meeting, said: Ive had loads of concerned people asking what is being done as they have heard the rumours of the burglaries.
Im pressing the police to increase patrols as I know they have already done this to a certain extent, and Im keen they continue to raise awareness with residents.
The message to people is to ensure windows and doors are kept locked and I urge neighbours to look out for one another especially in the run up to Christmas.
Facebook is also being used as a crime fighting tool as almost 500 people have shared a status on the I Love Mountain Ash Facebook page.
The message reads: Right everyone, this is important there is a massive increase in dwelling house burglaries in the Cynon Valley.
Please lock your doors, windows, secure your back gardens and rear access. There has also been an incident where the burglar tried a door that was open and walked in to find the owner watching television.
He made the excuse that he got the wrong house and was drunk. Unfortunately the owner believed his story and never told police. If this happens to you phone the police straight away.
Please share this so we can beat these thieves, let's use the power
of Facebook as a crime-fighting tool.
Closure-threatened school set to house autistic
Glanffrwd Infants School in Ynysybwl which is on verge of shutting as part
of measures to reduce surplus places
A closure-threatened infants school could soon be turned into a centre for children with severe autism under plans announced by the local authority.
Glanffrwd Infants School, in Ynysybwl, is on the verge of shutting as part of measures to reduce surplus places and replace infant school provision with a single primary education structure for three to 11-year-olds.
Despite a dogged campaign by parents, who say the school is one of the top performers in its cluster, the facility is likely to close in July 2014 after the Welsh Government backed officers reports.
All pupils currently at the rural school will be transferred to neighbouring Trerobart Primary from September 2014.
But now it appears the site could be turned into a facility for children over the age of 16 with Autistic Spectrum Disorders within Rhondda Cynon Taf.
Cabinet have approved a report which outlines plans to turn Glanffrwd into a satellite post-16 base for nine pupils from July 2014.
Its location was dubbed an ideal place for special needs pupils due to its size and outdoor environment.
Rhondda Cynon Taf council said running the provision would cost £492,000 per head for 15 places, £386,000 for 10 and £281,000 for five. The council claims the project would save them around £277,065 per year.
Around £300,000 would be needed to develop the site to meet the needs of pupils, which could be met through existing capital resources or through extra borrowing.
Rachel Bedgood, who was at the forefront of the Save Glanffrwd Infants campaign, said the area is already saturated with provision for special needs education.
Its soul destroying watching the continued demise of our village, she said.
The proposal offers nothing to Ynysybwl as originally promised by our cabinet and councillor.
I would like nothing more than for Glanffrwd to be utilised by children with difficulties, but yet again we have another facility for adults from outside of RCT to deal with physical and mental health the fourth similar establishment in Ynysybwl.
Of course these places are needed, but it shouldnt be taken from a facility that our community can benefit from.
Mrs Bedgood said a group of villagers are currently working with their local councillor to create an alternate proposal which they claim will be beneficial to the whole village.
She added: We can only hope that RCT consider this and understands the requirement for community facilities, not more mental health establishments.
The officers report states in 2013/14, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is projected to spend around £2.3m on out-of-county placements, of which 13 relate to post-16 education at a cost of £1.02m.
It states: There is a clear need to develop post-16 provision within RCT so we can minimise the pressures on OOC budgets. As pupils in special schools are entitled to stay in school until the age of 19, provision will need to span Years 12 to 14. Three classes will be needed and sufficient space for 15 pupils in total.
As we have a number of good special schools in RCT it is recommended that any provision developed forms part of an existing special school. Due to the limited opportunities for expanding school buildings on existing sites, it is recommended that a satellite post-16 base is developed on an alternative site.
Two of our existing headteachers have expressed an interest in being responsible for the base.
Plans have been put in place to appoint a headteacher who will have overall responsibility for the school.
Coun Pauline Jarman said: I could not think of a more appropriate use for the site.
The report will go before full council on November 27
Great New Service Helps With Christmas Shopping!
Free motorised scooters and wheelchairs available in Pontypridd and Aberdare will help make the Christmas shopping experience more enjoyable for disabled people.
Rhondda Cynon Taf Councils Vision Products spearheaded the schemes where disabled people can utilise specialist mobility equipment within the town centres.
Vision Mobility Hire Aberdare and Vision Mobility Hire Pontypridd allow customers the opportunity to hire the very latest mobility scooters and wheelchairs that will help make their visits to the town more enjoyable.
Both of the town centres have undergone major regeneration schemes, amounting to more than £17million thanks to the efforts of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.
New roadways, pavements, street lighting, benches and public areas have been introduced in Pontypridd and Aberdare whilst both town centres have also seen significant enhancements works undertaken on commercial properties and historic buildings.
This Christmas all visitors can enjoy the many shops, restaurants, pubs, events and activities that the town centres have to offer despite their physical abilities.
The Vision Mobility Hire project, which was launched in Aberdare in April and Pontypridd in September, has been an outstanding success.
Although pre-booking for mobility equipment is advised, it is possible to visit the shop anytime to hire a wheelchair or scooter for free. The equipment is allocated in slots of mornings, afternoons or all day.
Members of the public can come to either of the two individual Vision Mobility shops in each of the town centres with two items of identification and register free as a member. Then they will receive a membership card which can be used on subsequent visits.
Cllr Mike Forey, Cabinet Member for Partnerships and Adults Social Services, said: Vision Mobility Pontypridd provides a valuable service to people with mobility issues and a warm welcome is extended to users and their families.
Our trained staff are on hand to offer advice and information to customers and their families on the products available.
On the run-up to Christmas were sure many more people will take advantage of this free offer and look forward to welcoming them into our first-class service.
Vision Mobility is situated at 35 Commercial Street, Aberdare, and is open to the public from Tuesday to Saturday each week, from 9am until 4.30pm. For further details or to book for equipment call 01685 378769.
Vision Mobility Hire Pontypridd is situated in The Recycling Shop, Church Street, Pontypridd, and is open to the public from Tuesday to Friday each week, from 10am until 3:00pm. For further details or to book for equipment call 01443 493447
Have You Filled In Your Electoral Forms Yet?
Now is the time to fill in your electoral registration forms
Residents are reminded that they need to return their Electoral Registration forms if they have not already done so in the last few months.
Reminders are being sent to those households that we have yet to receive a reply from.
This is to ensure the electoral register is as up-to-date as possible ahead of next years elections, including next Mays European Parliament elections.
A quick response to these forms will save the Council money as any non-responders will have a canvasser calling in person to their property during January/Feburary 2014 to collect outstanding forms.
Keith Griffiths, Rhondda Cynon Taf Councils Electoral Registration Officer, said: Registering to vote is quick and simple. All you have to do is update the annual canvass form with details of everyone who lives in the household and is eligible to vote and return it to us as soon as possible - Its your vote, dont lose it.
Residents who are not registered or require assistance can contact the elections team on 01443490100 or print a form off at www.aboutmyvote.co.uk
For more information, contact your local Electoral Registration Officer on 01443 490100
Historic former cinema and bingo hall built
in 1858 set for demolition
The Palladium in Aberdare to be pulled down to make way for new housing project
with 15 apartments and a shop
An historic former cinema and bingo hall in the heart of Aberdare is set to be demolished to make way for an ambitious new housing project.
The Palladium, which was originally built in 1858, will be turned into 15 apartments and a shop after councillors gave the scheme the green light.
The Canon Street building, which has been derelict for several months, was described as deteriorating and in desperate need of repair.
Speaking at the development control committee hearing on Thursday, November 7, Coun Mike Forey said: I have affectionate memories of the building as a cinema and I am sorry to see its demise. But based on its interior condition, its use could not continue.
After viewing the designs, I can see this is an attractive scheme and will complement all the work in the town centre. It will also assist with problems of affordable housing in the area and those who have suffered as a result of the bedroom tax.
Newydd Housing Association submitted plans in September to transform the building, which is not listed, into nine one-bedroom and six two-bedroom units over the first, second and third floors.
It will retain many of the characteristics of the current hall, including a similar entrance and facade.
Paul Roberts, chief executive of Newydd, said: We are very excited about the opportunities this new development will offer local people in terms of job-creation, affordable homes as well as the regeneration of Aberdare.
The councils planning officer recommended approval as the scheme was in keeping with the character of the town.
The officers report states: The proposal would contribute to the economic and social growth of Aberdare.
The design, scale and massing of the scheme are acceptable in terms of their consequence for the character and appearance of the locality and access and highway safety.
The application will deliver much-needed affordable housing within the northern strategy area.
The Palladium was first used as a temperance hall but was soon converted into a theatre and hippodrome.
It was renamed in 1918 for use as a cinema and has had several interior refurbishments.
The building underwent further renovation work in the 1990s and in 2009, a blue plaque was installed to signify the site as a historic community hub.
But its lifespan appears to be over after councillors unanimously voted for the scheme to go ahead.
The developer will have to contribute £5,000 towards implementing traffic controls at the site.
There will also be 10 off-street parking spaces erected as part of the plans.
Rhondda Cynon Taf services to face chop in
bid to bridge funding gap
Public libraries, youth clubs and day centres in Rhondda Cynon Taf could
be the first services to be axed after proposals for the initial round of
savage budget cuts were announced.
Five initial proposals, which also affect nursery and pre-nursery children and the meal on wheels service, have been drafted and will be considered by Rhondda Cynon Taf Councils cabinet next Monday, with further options being brought forward in the coming weeks.
Councillor Anthony Christopher, leader of the council, has described the situation as an armageddon scenario for local government as it tries to bridge its £56m funding gap.
The announcement comes in the same week as RCT Council looks set to appoint its new Chief Executive on an annual salary of £141,000.
The first proposal would affect the library service, with the closure of libraries in Cwmbach, Penrhiwceiber and Ynysybwl. Libraries in Hirwaun, Aberdare, Mountain Ash and Abercynon are set to be kept open.
Under the proposed changes, 14 of the councils 26 libraries in RCT would be closed, leading to dozens of job losses. The libraries would be replaced by an enhanced mobile library service.
However, the second proposal regarding day centres will leave the Cynon Valley unaffected, as St Mairs Day Centre in Aberdare and Mountain Ash is set to remain in operation.
Ten of the 17 centres in the Taff Ely and Rhondda areas would close under the proposals, in order to save £600,000 each year.
The third proposal put forward bids to save £4.5m each year across RCT. It would see three-year-olds starting school the term following their third birthday on a part-time, rather than the current full-time basis.
Children would then become full-time pupils when they start reception during the September after their fourth birthday.
The fourth proposal centres on Youth Provision, which targets 11-25 year olds, with plans to centralise clubs and services in the county boroughs 17 secondary schools.
Provision, which would be full time, is estimated to save £2.2m a year if it goes ahead.
Finally, the proposed changes to the Meals on Wheels service would see the service no longer providing hot meals seven days a week.
Instead, it would deliver hot meals from Monday to Friday, with two additional chilled meals delivered on a Friday for consumption over the weekend.
This proposal would save £300k a year.
Coun Christopher said: This initial set of proposals are certainly not ones which councillors would want to have to decide whether they should initiate a consultation on. But the council has to consider alternatives to existing service levels when faced with the significant impact the UK Governments Austerity Measures are having on local government funding in Wales. By 2015-16, Wales funding will have been cut by £1.6bn, and with a reduction of this magnitude it is simply impossible for Welsh ministers to fully protect Wales frontline services from the decisions of the UK Government.
These are incredibly difficult proposals, and because the Welsh Government has done its utmost to protect Wales public services from the worst of the UK governments cuts, this is the first financial year that all our communities will really feel the pain and the realities of Mr Osbornes public sector funding cuts.
Despite these incredibly difficult and austere times, we will nevertheless work tirelessly to ensure that as far as we practicably can we protect the most vulnerable in our communities.
Any proposals taken forward to reshape local services would offer the best possible spread of provision within the significantly reduced resources we have available.
The proposals being put before cabinet next week would deliver savings of around £8m in a full year, clearly demonstrating how severe future decisions will need to be as we move towards filling a potential budget gap in excess of £56m.
Like Rhondda Cynon Taf, every local authority in Wales will be forced to make these similar tough decisions.
Despite the reductions in services that could eventually arise as a result of what cabinet may agree to consult on, I am confident the level and range of provision offered in Rhondda Cynon Taf will continue to compare favourably with other local authorities in South Wales.
We will consult widely with the public and those service users affected and will take due consideration of the comments and concerns made before reaching a final decision at the end of a four-week consultation period.
We will work hard with our staff and Trades Unions to deal with things as sensitively as we can but due to the severity of the cuts compulsory redundancies can no longer be ruled out.
Pete Crews, Unison RCT branch secretary, said: This is devastating for our community, our members and their families.
Obviously we havent been able to go into how many jobs are going to be lost if these proposals go ahead but we estimate that this is going to mean hundreds of job losses.
The thing to remember is these cuts dont just affect the service named in this report, they also affect the services which support libraries, day centres, youth clubs and so on.
Were under no illusion that were in hard times, but this is only the first phase of proposed cuts.
The council said it cannot rule out compulsory redundancies but we are not going to make it easy for them and we will expect them to look at every other alternative before going down this road.
Mountain Ash councillor Pauline Jarman, Plaid Cymru group leader in RCT council, said: The current nursery provision has been in operation for decades and I am concerned that the proposal to delay full-time education until the September following the childs fourth birthday will have a negative effect on the childs development.
Early Years education is critical to a childs later life chances and while a part-time place will be offered in the term following the childs third birthday it will not be as effective as full-time education.
It is also going to have a massive impact on jobs in schools.
I am also sure the residents of Penrhiwceiber and Ynysybwl who have had libraries in their villages since the pits were first sunk, all those years ago, will be horrified that their village libraries are proposed for closure. Plaid Cymru councillor for Hirwaun, Karen Morgan, added: Im very pleased that Hirwaun Library is not set for closure.
Its an excellent facility that is very well used by all ages and groups it is the hub of the community.
But I am concerned about the proposals for early years school provision, and the potential impact on childrens development and of course the school structures.
There is certainly a lot of anxiety in our community and among council workers waiting to see who the axe is going to fall on next.
The council has said it is going to consult on these proposals.
I hope that consultation is meaningful, and I would urge those affected to make their voices known.
RCT Councils Cabinet met on Monday, October 21, to discuss the proposals.
Rhondda cynon taf Council cuts where the axe is likely to fall
RCT council says it will deliver an enhanced mobile library service to support these changes
Expected savings £800k per year
Alec Jones, Porth
Teifi House, Maerdy
Nazareth House, Williamstown
Brynnar Jones, Gelli
St Mairs, Aberdare
St Georges, Tonyrefail
Dai Davies, Cymmer
Edith May, Ynyshir
Combine House, Tonypandy
Dan Murphy, Trealaw
Expected savings £600k per year
YOUTH PROVISION (11 TO 25-YEAR-OLDS)
E3+ and 5x60
Street-based youth work
Duke of Edinburgh
PSHE programmes including sexual health, drug and alcohol awareness
The proposed change would see all youth provision clustered around the county borough's 17 secondary school hubs.
Provision would be full time - term time and holidays - and would be delivered by school and community youth work teams based at each of the secondary schools.
Expected savings £2.2m per year
NURSERY AND PRE-NURSERY PROVISION
Three-year-olds will start school the term following their third birthday on a part-time, rather than the current full-time, basis.
This would then turn full-time when they start reception the September after their fourth birthday
Expected savings £4.5m
MEALS ON WHEELS SERVICE
The current Meal on Wheels service provides hot delivered to cilents' homes seven days a week.
Under the proposals hot meals will be sent to homes Monday to Friday, with two additional chilled meals delivered on Friday to eat over the weekend.
Expected savings £300,000 per year
Teen golfers are pride of Aberdare
A group of young Aberdare Golf Club members will travel to Malaga in 2014
to compete against the best from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland
Junior golfers are the pride of Aberdare after reaching the national finals for the first time in the clubs 92-year history.
Aberdare Golf Club members Jake Parfitt, Tom Williams, Reece Glover, David Heard, Rhyddian Smith and Jordan Rees will travel to Malaga, Spain, in 2014 to compete against the best from Scotland, England and Northern Ireland.
The talented six won their division in the East Glamorganshire League to reach the semi finals.
They triumphed over Bargoed in the semis and then beat the Vale of Glamorgan in the final at Creigau to be crowned East Glamorgan Champions.
Following the history victory, the team qualified for the all-Glamorganshire final against West division winners Neath, where they cruised to victory.
In a tense final match in the Welsh Inter County finals, they narrowly squeezed past Abergelle on countback to qualify for National finals in Malaga.
Both Abergelle and Aberdare will compete for Wales in the tournament against the cream of young British golfers.
A club spokesperson said: Special mention and congratulations must go to the junior organisers Alan Evan and Joyce Rees who have worked tirelessly over the years.
They are here every Saturday morning, no matter what the conditions, and have seen many boys achieve both team and individual honours.
Some have even become professional golfers - but this must be the pinnacle of their work.
The club are very proud of everyones achievements.
Rhondda Cynon Taf council vows to listen
to public over cuts protests
Following waves of criticism over proposed service cuts, the council has this week said it will listen to the opinions expressed.
Councillor Paul Cannon, deputy leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf council, responded to comments surrounding the councils first phase of service cut proposals to bridge a £70m budget gap over the next four years which has gone out to consultation this week.
He said: The council completely appreciates the impact these proposals will potentially have, but I must stress that these are only proposals and, balanced against the need to make significant savings, we will listen to the views and opinions being expressed.
We are simply faced with no alternatives other than to consider these proposals because of the savage level of cuts from the UK Government on Wales public sector.
When other options are touted, the stark fact is that, so severe are the cuts we face, that these will need to be considered as well as and not instead of the changes we are proposing.
As we have made abundantly clear, there will be harder and more difficult decisions in addition to these that will need to be considered in the coming weeks. Our critics are currently failing to come up with any costed and constructive alternatives and the misinformation they are providing does not help the public or the council in any way.
For example, they tell us to save money on our senior management costs, but they fail to tell the public that we are already reducing our senior management costs, with well over £1m saved already.
Some say cutting our spending on publicity would stop us from needing to make these decisions, but that is simply not true. We are already reviewing this area of spending, with proposals for savings to be presented for members consideration shortly.
The simple fact is that every area such as these will need to be reviewed to seek reductions in expenditure alongside all other services or functions the council delivers.
The council has achieved over £60m of efficiency savings in recent years and we will continue to focus on making these savings alongside revisions in service levels.
Nursery education, youth provision, libraries, day centres and meals on wheels service are all currently being consulted upon because we have to make these savings before April 2014.
Through all this, we must remember that we currently have more libraries than any other part in Wales.
Even if these changes are agreed, we will still maintain a high level of provision when compared with our neighbours.
We know our proposals for nursery admissions have caused concern and we fully appreciate the impact this change would have. However it is important to note that our provision would still see us on a par with the level of service offered by other councils if approved.
Because making tough choices has been forced upon us, we have to look at bringing our services and the level of provision offered into line with other local authorities who face the same challenges.
If the spending cuts from the UK Government were not so severe, councillors would want to continue providing services to the high level we have worked so hard to achieve over the last eight years.
I would like to again stress that these are only proposals and that this is a genuine consultation process where we want to hear the views from everyone.
Information on the first phase proposals and how to take part in the consultation process can be found on the councils website - www.rctcbc.gov.uk and booklets are also available at council buildings across Rhondda Cynon Taff
Aberdare Town Centre Crime Survey Launched
Residents and visitors to Aberdare are currently being invited to air their views on crime and disorder in the town centre, as part of one of first surveys of its kind to be delivered in Rhondda Cynon Taf.
The Community Safety Partnership coordinates and drives the efforts of the many public sector agencies that have a responsibility for tackling issues such as crime, disorder, anti-social behaviour, substance misuse, irresponsible drinking and Community Cohesion.
Each of the partnership agencies, including South Wales Police, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service, Cwm Taf Health Board and Probation prides itself on delivering on the crime and safety issues that residents have said affect them.
As such, a significant survey has been launched that aims to find out from as many people of all ages and walks of life what issues affect them in Aberdare town centre.
By understanding what issues affect people and what makes them feel safe, unsafe or reassured in Aberdare the Community Safety Partnership can direct its resources and activities accordingly, delivering solutions where they are needed the most.
Deputy Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Economic Development & Community Safety Cllr Paul Cannon, explained: We are proud of the fact the Community Safety Partnership delivers effective action in the areas that need it the most.
Aberdare Town Centre Crime and Disorder perception survey is important in helping to improve the town centre and it is vital we secure the views of as many people as possible so we can have a clear idea of what issues are affecting people, where and when.
That way, we can continue to coordinate and drive the efforts of many agencies, so they deliver action in Aberdare where it is needed the most.
Getting involved is quick, easy and confidential. All you have to do is answer 10 questions about your visit to Aberdare
Saturday 30th November 10am 7pm
Ice Rink, Everest Slide, Christmas Market, Fun Fair, Santas Grotto (11am-1pm, 3pm-6pm), Childrens Entertainment
Aberdare - Town Centre & Library Square
Saturday 7th December 10am - 4pm
Ski Slope, Christmas Market, Reindeer Parade (3:30pm), Santas Grotto (10am 3pm), Fun Fair, Childrens Entertainment, Musical Performances.
*Due to high demand the queue for Santas Grotto may close prior to the advertised closing time.
**Please note due to the nature and location of these events, they may be subject to change. Please contact us for the latest information
Santa's Christmas Cottage
Dare Valley Country Park
Santas Christmas Cottage opens its doors once again this year. Pop along and spend some time with the main man himself and even receive a pre-Christmas gift from him. Visitors will also get a photograph with Santa as a special reminder of their visit.
There will be morning-only visits on Christmas Eve as Santa prepares for the biggest night of the year.
Please note weekdays fill up quickly with school bookings. Please call to check availability and to book.
Santa's Toy Mine
Rhondda Heritage Park
24th November 24th December
Join our toy miners on a magical, thrilling, underground adventure. Will
you be lucky enough to discover Santa's secret hideaway?
£6.95 Per child (including gift)
£4.95 Per Accompanying Adult (includes a mince pie and hot drink)
£7.95 Per Child (including Gift)
£5.95 Per Accompanying Adult (includes a mice pie and hot drink)
For younger children who may find going down into the mine a littler scary we also have Story Telling with Santa.
Running Monday 25th to Friday 29th November at 1.30pm and 2.30pm, this is a fun way for your smallest to meet Santa and hell give them a gift too.
Only £4.95 per child and £3.95 per accompanying adult.
Booking is essential 01443 682036.
|Home.......Latest News.....About Cynon Valley......Local Attractions......Whats On.......Contact Us......Businesses A-Z.|