A total of £4.25m is going to be made available to “clean up and green up” towns, valleys and villages across Neath Port Talbot.
Members of Neath Port Talbot Council’s coalition Cabinet approved the spending at their meeting on July 28th.
The council’s new Leader Cllr Stephen Hunt said earlier this month the improvement of the ‘public realm’ in Neath Port Talbot would be one of the early priorities of the council’s new Coalition leadership.
Residents want safe, clean and attractive neighbourhoods. The Coalition is going to respond to that and will be making early provision in capital and revenue budgets to improve the quality of our public realm, working with officers to review services and policies.
The money to improve public spaces comes partly from additional funding from the Welsh Government and the council’s own capital spending programme which contains £1.5m to fund projects aimed at helping the council “catch up, clean up and green up” after the Covid-19 pandemic.
During the Covid pandemic the council’s workforce had to be re-purposed to ensure essential services such as refuse and recycling collections were maintained. As a result the state of the public realm across the county borough deteriorated.
Neath Port Talbot Council’s Cabinet Member for Streetscene, Cllr Scott Jones, said,
In order to address this the Cabinet has agreed a one off capital investment programme using the £4.25m in a range of improvements across the county borough. Our officers will now prepare a detailed schedule of improvements to be considered by the relevant Cabinet Boards.
An improvement in the look of towns and villages across the county borough is what people told us they wanted in the run-up to the last election.
Now we have formed the Rainbow Coalition to run the council we are making that issue one of our priorities which is why we have approved this additional spending.