Taking RCT Forward

In my time as Leader of the Council, I have always sought to ensure that, despite the financial challenges we face through austerity, we are able to secure opportunities to invest in our County Borough and Council services in order to future proof facilities and to provide the best opportunities to take our communities forward.

Last week Cabinet approved proposals to invest an additional £7m to ensure that we continue to deliver upon our ambitions for the entire County Borough. This investment will support the delivery of a number of public commitments and will guarantee that the visible improvements delivered by #RCTInvest over the last two years continues, shaping the positive future for the County that we all want to see. This funding, subject to the agreement of Council in November, will see an additional two new 3G pitches created in the County, boosting our ambitious plans for every resident to have access to such a facility within a three mile radius. The new facilities would be created to add to the 7 already delivered and the 3 already in progress or under development at Abercynon, Garth Olwg and Ferndale.

The proposals also recommended the allocation of £3m to be distributed evenly amongst three key transport infrastructure projects. The Llanharan bypass has been called for by residents for many years, and the additional £1M will ensure this vital highway scheme moves a stage closer to becoming a reality. To further honour the previous commitments to dual the A4119 between Tonyrefail and Llantrisant, an additional £1M will also be invested to progress the development of this vital transport artery between the Rhondda and M4 corridor.  The final project to benefit from the additional funding would be the Mountain Ash Cross Valley Link scheme, which has progressed at a considerable rate since we committed to delivering on this hugely beneficial scheme. As part of our effort to modernise our wider transportation offer, over £1m will also support the development of further Park and Ride facilities across RCT to ensure that we maximise the opportunities afforded to us by the South Wales Metro project.

Like the Llanharan bypass, the redevelopment of the former Taff Vale site is something which has, for a number of years, been a key aspiration for Pontypridd. Following our decision to take the driving seat on this huge project, by securing the full tenure of the site, we have been able to move forward by securing planning permission, and the development will shortly act as the future home for Transport for Wales and the South Wales Metro provider. Construction is due to commence in the New Year and Cabinet will soon be considering the detailed business case to fund the redevelopment, and we are confident that this proposal can deliver the major economic boost for Pontypridd that we all want to see.  Crucially, the model proposed indicates that the almost £50m development will fund itself, and this clearly demonstrates that our strategic and targeted investment works.

The #RCTInvest programme is ensuring that, despite the financial challenges we face, we are able, through targeted investments, to create opportunities to deliver vital improvements for the County Borough, despite the reducing revenue funding we receive. This investment proposal is all about us continuing to take RCT forward, by future-proofing key infrastructure, improving our transport connections and developing new ways of delivering services.