The Cynon Valley Leader today carries yet another article bemoaning the demise of our town centres, this time Aberdare.
Not for the first time the Chamber of Trade there is saying that the Council and the Welsh Government need to do more - including addressing the issue of car parking charges, business rates, and planning laws. This follows the closure of five businesses there this month.
Chamber of Trade Secretary Judith Toms is quoted as saying
""The council will claim their charges are not the highest, which is true, but other towns have got rid of them as they have recognised the damage it's causing.
"We have asked for a breakdown almost hour by hour of when and how much RCT council make from parking, as I don't think their figures are accurate, but they won't meet with us."
This is becoming a familiar tale, traders across the county are claiming that there is little or no meaningful interaction with the Council. The attitude of the Labour Cabinet leaves a great deal to be desired.
Last week a trader in Tonypandy shut up shop after almost 25 years, and Pontypridd businesses have expressed similar concerns.
As we have come to expect now the faceless, nameless RCT 'spokesperson' commented:
"Rhondda Cynon Taf Council would like to express how disappointing it is to hear of the closure of any business and we sympathise greatly with traders when such a difficult decision has to be made.
"However, the council remains committed to working with traders in all of our town centres in an effort to support various initiatives that have a positive effect on the local economy."
Strange isn't it that every time there is good news the Cabinet Member, Cllr Paul Cannon is first in line with a cheery comment and a smile for the photographer? Yet any hint of criticism and he is nowhere to be seen.