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Rhondda Cynon Taf could see an Additional £11.3M Invested into the Area

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The Council’s Cabinet will next week consider investing an additional £11.3M in key priority areas.

This investment will support a range of areas such as outdoor leisure facilities, highways and transport infrastructure, play areas and recycling facilities.

The investment will also seek to provide further employment opportunities for young people, and deliver improvements to school facilities and town centres.

This funding is in addition to the £11.9M announced last autumn.

A second review of the Council’s Reserves, initiated by the Leader of the Council as part of the 2016/17 Budget setting process, has indentified an additional £11.300M to be invested, over and above the current capital programme in the Cabinet’s key priority areas as set out in the Council’s Corporate Plan which was considered and approved by Council.

This investment will support:

  • Outdoor Leisure Facilities (£500k) Investment in outdoor sport grounds such as artificial pitches
  • School Facilities (£2M) Improve a range of school buildings outside the 21st Century School Programme
  • Town and Village Centres (£300k) To support improvements to the town centre environment
  • Empty Properties (£1.5M) To support the returning of empty properties in the County Borough back into use to enhance the wider neighbourhood
  • Flood Alleviation (£300k) To support high impact flood prevention schemes in key areas of risk
  • Waste Recycling Centre (£150k) To improve and extend the Dinas Community Recycling Centre
  • Green Teams (£100k) To support the maintenance of the green environment across the county borough
  • Play Areas (£200k) To enable continued refurbishment of children’s play grounds
  • Highway Repairs (3.5M) To protect and improve the road fabric across the county borough
  • Transport Infrastructure (£1M) To improve traffic flow and congestion and to support external funding applications for strategic traffic management schemes across RCT
  • Graduate Officers (£200k)  To create additional graduate employment opportunities
  • Service Delivery Investment (£2.050M) To support the Council efficiency drive to protect frontline services
  • This investment is in addition to the £11.9M considered last October which supported:
  • Improvements to Leisure Centres – including the modernisation of fitness and gym facilities. (£1.200M)
  • Transport and Infrastructure – to include highways resurfacing and structural improvements to bridges (£3.800M). Projects to access funding to improve accessibility, congestion, road safety and sustainable travel (£4.000M)
  • Play areas – to improve and deliver additional play facilities across the County Borough (£0.200M)
  • Waste Recycling Centre – to deliver the Treherbert Recycling Centre (£0.350M)
  • Taff Vale Development – to support the redevelopment of the site. (£1.500M)
  • Apprentices – to fund additional council apprentices (£0.350M)
  • Housing and Regeneration – to stimulate regeneration and development (£0.200M)

County Borough Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of the Council, said:

“Following a review of the Council’s Reserves as part of the 2016/17 Budget setting process, over £11M of one-off funding will be made available to invest in the key priorities areas of this Council.

“Despite the financial challenges we face, it is important that we continue to ensure that the Council delivers upon the commitments it has made to our residents. I believe it is hugely important for us to invest in our key priority areas.

“This £11M investment has the potential to support the economic regeneration of the County Borough and will improve key infrastructure in doing so. These proposals also support job creation and sustainability both directly and indirectly locally.

“Following a number of events I attended with local sports clubs the message came across loud and clear that our outdoor leisure facilities play a key role in our communities and are highly valued and this investment therefore seeks to deliver a number of improvements across our County Borough.

“We know national economic factors have the biggest impact on our local economy which in turn impacts upon our local high street. These factors are unfortunately beyond our control, but this investment will fund a range of enhancements within our town centres.

“This funding will also create employment opportunities for graduates to ensure this Council continues to grow its own talent to support the wide breadth of services this Council continues to provide.

“In addition to the further investment in road and transport infrastructure, in particular focused on improving traffic flow for commuters at peak times, this funding will seek to support vital flood alleviation schemes.

“To protect frontline services from the future budget reductions we anticipate, part of this investment will support the delivery of energy efficiency schemes and the digitalisation of Council services to deliver continued efficiencies.

“This funding is in addition to the £11.9M investment programme we announced last autumn, which supported a range of areas including play grounds, recycling facilities, housing and regeneration.

“These same areas receive extra funding through the new £11.3M proposal. In support of a number of actions the Council took around housing within the last investment round, this second cash injection will specifically deliver a range of programme to tackle empty properties within our County Borough.

“As a result of the strong financial management we have set in place over the last ten years we are able to identify one off funding opportunities to deliver upon these priorities.

“I must stress that as this funding is one off, it can only be used once and could not be used to prevent the need to make further reductions to our base budget as a result of public sector austerity funding cuts.

“Such an approach would simply not be sustainable and would only result in the funding problem we face accumulating unsustainably year-on-year.

“I hope the investment to be considered by Cabinet next week demonstrates how our different vision and approach of investing for the future is achieving a better outcome for residents in RCT in these difficult financial times.”