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December 2014

Health of a nation - part 2 of our look back at 2014

As we move into 2015 we would like to wish everyone a happy and a healthy new year. Our heath is something many of us take for granted until we encounter problems. Just as we take for granted the hard work put in by the many front line staff who work in our health services.

Heads should roll over ambulance service as response times in RCT hit all time low

The latest ambulance response times statistics for November show that the Welsh Ambulance Service missed its target for attending the most urgent calls yet again for the thirteenth month running.

Lillian Board Memorial Cup

The memory of the ‘Golden Girl of British Athletics’ will live on at the 2014 Nos Galan Road Races.

RCT Council still wasting money - and local press let them get away with it

Despite all the talk of cutbacks and promises form their leader that they would put front line services first the Labour Cabinet is still throwing away YOUR money like confetti.

New 34% discount on Cardiff & Valleys rail fares for Welsh Concessionary Travel pass holders!

From 2nd January 2015, anyone who holds a valid Welsh Government concessionary travel pass can get a fantastic 34% off local fares on the Cardiff and Valleys network, without the need to buy a Rail Card.

Nos Galan Poster Winners Announced

The winning entry created by James Penny, of Gwauncelyn Primary School, Tonteg

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and the Nos Galan Committee are delighted to announce the winners of the 2014 Nos Galan Road Races Poster Competition.

2014 in Rhondda Cynon Taff – part 1

As the year draws to a close we thought it time for a round up of some of the major happenings that have taken place in, and affected, RCT and the people who live here. Far too much has been happening for one article, so here is part 1

Report on Cylch Meithrin Ynyshir a Wattstown

Report on
Cylch Meithrin Ynyshir a Wattstown
This Welsh-medium nursery, which serves the communities of Ynyshir and
Wattstown near Pontypridd in Rhondda Cynon Taf, is situated in Wattstown Park
Bowling Pavilion. It was established in 1983.

Keep your eyes open thieves are braking in and stealing your belongings

Contact: Detective Sergeant Greg Methven at Talbot Green police station on 101 or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 101 and quote reference 1400476603.
Detectives in Talbot Green are investigating two burglaries which occurred on Tuesday 23rd December.

A report on Cymmer Infants School

A report on Cymmer Infants School
Graigwen Road Cymmer Porth
Cymmer Infant School serves the village of Porth in the Rhondda Valley. The local
authority is Rhondda Cynon Taf. There are currently 113 pupils on roll. Nearly all

A report on Maesgwyn Special School Aberdare

A report on Maesgwyn Special School Cwmdare Road Aberdare

Step out this festive period, and boost your health

Walking on the Wales Coast Path does more than blow the cobwebs away or provide a great day out – a new report shows that it also actually helps people live longer.

Plaid Cymru’s plans to close the earnings gap

Rhun ap Iorwerth outlines economic vision as pay gap widens

Drop in airport passenger numbers condemned

Commenting on reports of provisional November passenger numbers at Cardiff Airport – which show an 18.5 per cent drop on the previous month - Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Byron Davies AM, said:

Commissioner praises support for older people in Rhondda Cynon Taf

THE Older People’s Commissioner for Wales has praised work going on across Rhondda Cynon Taf to support older people living in the area.

Foster Carers Take to the Streets

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s dedicated army of foster carers will take to the streets of the county borough in January to encourage more people to consider taking up the “rewarding and challenging” career option.

The most senior female police officer serving with South Wales Police, ACC Nikki Holland is launching a unique appeal

The most senior female police officer serving with South Wales Police, ACC Nikki Holland is launching a unique appeal.
Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Holland said:

Plaid Cymru calls for a ban on zero hours contracts for homecare workers

Plaid Cymru has once again stood up for the rights of homecare workers who face unfair working practices, calling on the Welsh Government to ban zero hour contracts for the sector.

Give A Child The Gift Of Reading

What better gift for a child this Christmas than the ability to read?

Libraries throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf are supporting a pioneering initiative to supply free books to children from as early an age as possible.

A stronger economy and a fairer society for 2015

Christmas message from Kirsty Williams

I would like to wish you all a very merry Christmas and a happy New Year.

Defrost your turkey properly

Families across the nation are getting ready for Christmas and the majority of us will have turkey on the menu.

Public views on recycling? Forget them, says Labour

‘The preference of waste producers (for example, householders or businesses) for different methods of waste collection will not be a relevant consideration….’ (Welsh Government guidance, December 2014)

Discover Elan Valley’s Dambuster history this weekend

Take a guided walk through Elan Valley on Sunday, 28th December and learn more about the valley’s link with the Dambuster raids.

Family Fun For All At Nos Galan

Residents are being invited to get on track for a fantastic night of magic, mystery, celebrity and fun at the award-winning Nos Galan Road Races on New Year’s Eve.

Race entries are now closed. There will also be no Race Registration on the night due to overwhelming demand.

Christmas 2014 - A message of hope.

With 2014 drawing to a close the Christmas festivities are once again upon us. However, 13 million people today in the UK will find it difficult to feel festive while living with the grind of poverty. Nearly a million people now rely on food banks.

Arriva Trains Wales Christmas & New Year Travel Summary

At Arriva Trains Wales, we recognise that Christmas and the New Year is a particularly important time for all your travel needs.

Health Minister views technologies that are helping to improve the quality of patients’ lives

The Minister for Health, Mark Drakeford, visited Ysbyty Cwm Cynon to see, first hand, how technology is assisting physiotherapists to improve the quality of patients’ lives.

Young People Have Their Say On Service

Young people throughout the County Borough are having their say on whether activities and provisions designed for their needs are up to the mark!

A new cohort of young people has been trained to become Youth Inspectors in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Pensioners' Champion Honoured

A plaque paying tribute to a former miner who championed the rights of pensioners throughout the country has been rededicated in Aberdare.

Pontyclun Burglary Police Appeal for Witnesses

South Wales Police are appealing for information following a burglary in the Pontyclun area.
The incident happened at around 7pm Friday 19th Dec at a property on Tegfan Street and follows a spate of similar incidents which took place (Thursday 18th Dec) in Church Village.

North Wales Artist welcomes debate on the stigma surrounding self harm

The Wales mental health helpline (C.A.L.L.), based in Wrexham, has welcomed the release of self harm statistics from Welsh Government.

Church Village Christmas burglary warning

Residents in Church Village and surrounding areas are being urged to be vigilant since two burglaries occurred in one day.

Bleak week for NHS in Wales

It's been another bleak week for NHS statistics in Wales. Hard working front line NHS staff must be utterly demoralised seeing the constant bad news headlines and it is time the Welsh Labour Government addressed the problems.

Legal confusion reigns in RCT over education cuts

The consultation on the proposed nursery cuts in RCT has been extended until the end of January which is good news for opponents trying to put together a case against this ridiculous move.
However, we have to ask what exactly are the Officers at RCT Council playing at?

Labour Cabinet put sweeteners for staff before front line service.

RCT Cabinet have put off for six months a decision which would save the cash strapped Council a considerable amount of money without affecting front line services.

Caerphilly Council warned after employee surveillance

A council that ordered covert surveillance on a sick employee must review its approach after an Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) investigation.

Police Commissioners branded a waste of public money by Plaid AM

Plaid Cymru AM Rhodri Glyn Thomas has called for Police and Crime Commissioners to be scrapped once their current term ends.

The Carmarthen East and Dinefwr Assembly Member made the appeal with the annual cost of the Commissioners’ put at more than £3.2m.

UK deaths from Alzheimer's disease up by 52 per cent, finds study

An analysis of the Global Burden of Disease Study, published in The Lancet, has found that Alzheimer's disease was responsible for 52 per cent more deaths in 2013 compared to 1990.
The number of UK deaths from Alzheimer's rose from 32,429 in 1990 to 49,349 in 2013.

Launch of child poverty animations

Children in Wales has launched a set of poverty animations with the voices of children and young people from across the UK.

New advice issued on Older People's Commissioner's information request

We are urging all providers to respond to the request from the Older People's Commissioner, Sarah Rochira, for information by February 2.

A Christmas message from Age Cymru

It’s almost Christmas – a time for joy and celebration, but also a time of loneliness and sadness.

In fact, Age Cymru’s research shows that 19% of over 65s in Wales are not looking forward to this Christmas.


Big Democracy South Wales

National Theatre Wales are now looking for ideas for the next round of The Big Democracy Project, inviting proposals from south Wales.

USW celebrates world leading research and impact with excellence

Atrium Cardiff Campus
The University of South Wales is celebrating its world class research with the announcement of the Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) results.

USW has doubled its amount of research rated as world leading.

Closing Date For Race Place!

Among the attractions at the 2014 Nos Galan Road Races will be a spectacular fireworks display

The official closing date for entries to the 2014 Nos Galan Road Races is 9am on Monday, December 22.

Young people snap top prizes in photography competition

Jacob Pearce, from Maesteg, winner of the under 11 category Sheryl Ewe, from the Vale of Glamorgan, winner of the 12-18 category

Six young people are taking home prizes after capturing the very best of the Welsh environment through a lens.

Secret Changes to Motability Grant Making Conditions – People needed for Legal Challenge

Motability have introduced changes to their grant making conditions discriminate against disabled people with the highest support needs who are unable to work for a minimum of 12 hours a week, carry out at least 12 hours voluntary work (which apparently can’t be internet based but has to be outsi

Frank keeps up tradition - as panto dame!

When Frank Vickery went to see pantomimes as a child, he never dreamed that one day he too would be starring in the traditional family shows.

USW awards inspirational figures during Graduation

A Formula 1 engineer, a rock guitarist, an entrepreneur and a nursing chief executive were all presented with Honorary Awards during this week’s Graduation ceremonies at the University of South Wales.

Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014

Implementation of the Social Services and Well-being (Wales) Act 2014 – Consultation on the regulations and code of practice in relation to Part 2 of the Act
Posted on: December 17 2014

The happiest of Christmases in the Prowle household thanks to WAST crew

It will be a Christmas beyond their wildest dreams at one address in Ferndale this year as Mr Geoff Prowle celebrates his recovery form not one, but NINE cardiac arrests!

Accolade for local General Practice Manager

Derek Fishwick, Business Manager at Pont Newydd Medical Centre has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of General Practitioners.

Health Minister joins Rhondda families to see pioneering diabetes research in action

Leading researchers at Cardiff’s University Hospital of Wales have teamed up with Diabetes UK Cymru for the first time to show people affected by Type 1 diabetes cutting edge diabetes research in Wales.

Deaf-initely Christmas!

SEWDCS member Brooke Withers, 8 years
The South East Wales Deaf Children’s Society (SEWDCS) is holding its Christmas party and is calling for all families with deaf children and young people to come along and make contact.

St John Baptist High School End of Term letter - 2014

This has been another busy and very successful term for all at St John’s. We came back after the summer break delighted with the results that pupils had received. In particular 94% of our pupils achieved 5 GCSEs A* - C, and 75% 5 GCSEs including English and Mathematics.

Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun Iwan wins S4C cooking competition

Iwan James is the winner of the Cog1nio competition on S4C after successfully preparing a complicated three course meal. He was announced as the winner on the programme when he beat William Howell from Carmarthen in the final.

Helping Homeless At Christmas

ANA Boxing Club, along with numerous volunteers, are helping the homeless this festive season

Wales lagging behind rest of UK on unemployment

The Welsh unemployment rate is reducing at a slower rate than any other UK region new figures released today show.

Cardiff Blues’ surprise visit to children’s ward at Royal Glamorgan Hospital

Ahead of the east versus west derby this Friday evening, the Cardiff Blues squad called in to the Royal Glamorgan Hospital to spread some Christmas cheer.

Closing Date For Nos Galan Race Place!

NosGalanRaces Mystery Runner will be laying a wreath at Guto's grave two weeks today

Among the attractions at the 2014 Nos Galan Road Races will be a spectacular fireworks display

12 hour A&E waits double

The number of patients waiting over 12 hours in Welsh Accident & Emergency departments has doubled in the past three months to over 2,000, new figures published today confirm.

Domestic abuse: seeking hidden crimes

Domestic abuse victims will likely contact a doctor before they contact the police. The BMA report Domestic Abuse outlines ways to identify these hidden crimes

Macmillan thanks patients for insight into cancer care


Dear Sir/Madam,

Macmillan thanks patients for insight into cancer care

A Skating Rink is coming to Market Street Car Park in Aberdare for Christmas week.

A Skating Rink is coming to Market Street Car Park in Aberdare for Christmas week.

The rink will be open at the following times:

Natural Resources Wales £4.2million boost for Welsh environment projects

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is set to invest £4.2million in projects to improve the environment across Wales.

Ceri Davies, Executive Director for Knowledge, Strategy and Planning from NRW said:

Heavy rain could cause disruption later this week

Old photograph of River Cynon Aberaman 2008

Natural Resources Wales is asking people to be alert for possible flooding as the Met Office has forecast heavy rain overnight and lasting until Friday.

Extension To Consultation Announced

The Council’s Cabinet today agreed to extend the consultation on changes to the funding of nursery and music education in the County Borough.

Response to RCT Council school music service cuts consultation

Today is the last day for responses to the consultation on proposals to make cuts to the schools music service in RCT.
This is the response submitted by RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats.

Mountain Ash Residents Protected With ASBO

A nuisance neighbour whose shouting, swearing, banging, arguing and noisy, badly-behaved visitors has affected the lives of other residents for years will have her behaviour curbed with an ASBO.

Successful week for Mayor Cllr Watts

It’s been a week of festive, family and community celebrations (and proud moments) for RCT Mayor John Watts, as he saw the hard work of the good causes he supports pay off in seasonal style!

new chair for wales’ children’s hospice

mervyn maria

Tŷ Hafan, the hospice for children in Wales, has elected a new chairperson to lead its board of trustees.

Dylan Launches New 'Buy Back' Scheme

A disabled schoolboy is the inspiration for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s innovative “We Buy Back” scheme to help others, by ensuring the re-use of specialist equipment.

“It’s your NHS, use it wisely” urges NHS Wales Chief Executive

The chief executive of NHS Wales has today urged the public to choose well this winter as he spoke about the plans in place to ease pressures on the NHS.

Winter's Secret Friend - Darren

Meet Darren may not know this but Darren is a secret friend to all visitors and road users within Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Darren is the man in the gritting van that’s out and about 24/7 making sure our roads are safe when Jack Frost pays the County Borough a visit.

SNP, Plaid Cymru and the Greens: Austerity has Failed. Time for a New Approach to Politics.

Leanne, Sturgeon, Bennett

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and leader of the Green party in England and Wales Natalie Bennett have today stated that all three parties will unite whenever possible to battle the Westminster parties’ obsession with austerity.

NHS operations set to be cancelled

Commenting on the warning from the Chief Executive of the Welsh NHS that winter pressures could see NHS operations cancelled, Darren Millar AM, Shadow Minister for Health, said:

Home to School transport needs complete root and branch review

The leader of RCT Council this week announced that they will be looking at home to school transport in the New Year with a view to cutting back on provision.

Shop robbery: Langorse Road, Aberdare

Police in Aberdare are appealing for information following a robbery at a shop on Langorse Road.

Sparkling panto is a huge hit with Cwmdare pupils

Thousands of children from across Rhondda Cynon Taf have enjoyed a special festive treat this year – seeing the Council’s annual pantomime.

Don’t forget your prescriptions before Christmas!

Patients are advised to check they have sufficient prescription medicines for the four-day Christmas holiday period and to deal with any routine medical problems before the GP practices close for the Christmas break.

Funding Announced for English-language Magazines

Following a review of provision for English-language magazines from Wales, the Welsh Books Council has announced that five magazines will receive grant support for the next four years to commence in April 2015, broadening the support to ensure a wide range of material for readers.

Thank You So Much!

More than 2,300 gifts have been donated to our Santa Appeal 2014

Thanks to the amazing generosity of the public, hundreds of Christmas presents are being delivered to children across the County Borough as part of the Council’s Santa Appeal 2014.

Community Co-ordinators improve the lives of the over 65s

The over 65s are benefiting from advice and support provided by five Community Co-ordinators within Cwm Taf.

Wales’ high bowel surgery death rate

Figures published today by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that bowel cancer patients in Wales are more likely to die after surgery than in other parts of the UK.

Welsh Ambulance Service awarded Silver Corporate Health Standard

THE Welsh Ambulance Service has signalled its support for improving the health and wellbeing of its employees after being awarded the Silver Corporate Health Standard.

Update on the AberdareTree

The tree is up, no idea when the lights are going to be on and I cant do anymore.

ASBO for Penrhys teenager

A Penrhys teenager who “commands more police time than any other individual in the Rhondda” as a result of her alcohol and drug-related behaviour has been made subject to an ASBO in a bid to curb her behaviour.

voices making a change

I first came across Tŷ Hafan watching the Beautiful Lives documentary in 2011, so when the opportunity came up to join this campaign, of course, I jumped at the chance.

Court’s ‘extraordinary’ judgment on bus access leaves campaigners ‘appalled’

The “extraordinary” failure of three court of appeal judges to protect the rights of wheelchair-users to travel on buses has left disabled campaigners “frustrated” and “appalled”.

Have your say on leisure services in Wales

Citizen survey launched into the current state of Welsh council sport and recreation services
Services are changing in Wales. In these times of austerity local government has to re-assess which services to prioritise and many services now have to deliver with less.

Business students ‘Make an Impact’ for charity

72 business students from the University of South Wales’ Treforest Campus recently raised approximately £2,000 for charity as part of the Business School’s ‘Make an Impact’ initiative.

Independent Living Fund closure: Minister knew decision would strike at independence

The minister for disabled people knew that closing the Independent Living Fund (ILF) would mean many disabled people would lose their ability to live independently in the community, a judge has concluded.

Relatives rally round to show support for “excellent” Tonypandy care home

Assistant manager Tom Thatcher with relative Ken Owen and his wife, Cecilia, who is a resident of the Taliesin care home.
Assistant manager Tom Thatcher with relative Ken Owen

Home To School Transport

The Council’s Cabinet will, in the New Year, consider the level of the Council’s Home to School Transport provision.

Christmas At Nantgarw China Works

Nantgarw China Works Museum will welcome people of all ages this festive season when it hosts a range of Christmas events.

Did the Romans invent Christmas?

Every year we see people getting into the spirit of Christmas as soon as December begins. But did you know that around this time of year the Romans customs and traditions were actually not so different from ours?

People working together for Aberdare

Great community work donation of Christmas tree people working together for Aberdare to have a tree

Council merger 'scare tactics' should be clarified

The Shadow Local Government minister today called on a Labour minister to name the senior Labour figures who he says want just SIX Welsh authorities after the on-going reorganisation process.

Help make your hospital admission hitch free this Christmas

THE Welsh Ambulance Service is reminding members of the public about what they can do to help make their hospital admission go hitch free this Christmas.

Literature Wales and Welsh Government announce new international ‘Dylan Day’

As part of an event to mark the conclusion of the successful year-long Dylan Thomas 100 Festival, Dylan Thomas’ granddaughter Hannah Ellis today announced the creation of Dylan Day, a new annual day of celebration in the name of Wales’ most famous literary son.



Excavations in Canon Street Aberdare

Looks like there is a problem in Canon Street with new pavement excavated plenty of protective barriers outside Burtons to stop pedestrians walking on the highway but not a few meters away where pedestrians have to walk on the highway to get by.

DECI report for Royal Glamorgan Hospital, Cwm Taf University Health Board published

Healthcare Inspectorate Wales (HIW) today publishes a report following an unannounced Dignity and Essential Care inspection to Ward 3 of Royal Glamorgan Hospital, part of Cwm Taf University Health Board. The inspection was undertaken on 10 and 11 September.

Mountain Ash Family Foursome Avoid Christmas Behind Bars

David Jones, Head of Community Protection with the hoard of counterfeit goods discovered

A family of Cynon Valley crooks narrowly escaped being imprisoned for Christmas after selling fake designer clothes and accessories on the internet.

WRU supports free first aid courses

Rugby clubs across Wales will be given the chance to pass on vital lifesaving skills to their younger members after St John Cymru Wales made its Young Lifesavers courses free to download.

lucy and rhodri’s christmas visit to tŷ hafan

Lucy and Rhodri Owen brought their own Christmas sparkle to Tŷ Hafan when they visited the hospice

The Mayoral Week, November 30-December 6

Veteran Welsh broadcaster Dewi Griffiths was congratulated on his long career by Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Mayor during the civic week November 30-December 6.

Poor sleep may be linked to proteins in the brain associated with Alzheimer's disease

Poor sleep quality may be a risk factor for Alzheimer's disease, a report presented at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology annual meeting in Arizona has found today (Tuesday 9 December).

Kirsty Williams scoops AM of the Year 2014 award

Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Kirsty Williams won the AM of the Year award at the Welsh Political Awards last night.

Welsh Government budget passed by the Assembly

The Welsh Government Budget for 2015-16 has been passed by the National Assembly for Wales, following an agreement made between the Labour Welsh Government and the Welsh Liberal Democrats.

The over 65s who dread Christmas

Almost a fifth of over 65s in Wales (19%) are not looking forward to this Christmas according to Age Cymru's research.

Our figures show that 114,000 older people are dreading the festive period.

Assembly Member briefing - Plenary debate on the General Principles of the Well-being of Future generations (Wales) Bill

Plenary Debate on the General Principles of the Well-being of Future Generations (Wales) Bill - National Assembly for Wales Tuesday 9th December 2014

by Beth Evans

Tinh Van Tran photo released to assist search for family

South Wales Police officers investigating the circumstances surrounding the death of Tinh Van Tran, whose body was discovered on common land in Abercynon last week, have sourced and released a photograph of him.

Talented youngsters take part in panto!

The Take pART performers onstage with Lauren Whiting

Young people from across Rhondda Cynon Taf are enjoying their first taste of show business this festive season in Cultural Services’ annual pantomime.


St John Baptist Church in Wales High School

Friday 12 December

Aberllechau Primary to close despite last minute call in hope.

The final hopes of keeping Aberllechau Primary School open were dashed today when the Cabinet decided that the concerns expressed by local councillors who "called - in" the decision for further scrutiny were not sufficient for them to reverse their decision.

On behalf of Diabetes UK Cymru’s Director Dai Williams:

If you are one of over 13,400 people in Rhondda Cynon Taf living with diabetes, following a healthy lifestyle at Christmas can be a struggle, but it shouldn’t mean traditional festive foods should be forbidden.

Natural Resources Wales’ alternative way to deal with environmental offences

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) has used an innovative approach to dealing with a company which polluted the River Taff.

In January and September 2013, waste from PB Gelatins UK Limited site in Treforest unintentionally found its way into the river.

Making Aberdare A Safer Town

An ongoing campaign to make Aberdare a safer and more pleasant town centre continues to gain momentum.

Improved access to cancer drugs? No, says Labour in Wales

As Labour’s Shadow Health Minister announces new plans for an expansion of the cancer drugs fund in England, Labour’s First Minister in Wales has called the fund ‘political’ and ruled out any introduction in Wales.

Penrhys Man Jailed For Counterfeit Crime

A Penrhys man who sold counterfeit feature films and extreme pornography to friends on the estate as part of a “cottage industry” has narrowly escaped spending Christmas in prison, following a successful prosecution by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

Another £4m to be wasted on "pointless" air link

The Welsh Liberal Democrats have revealed through a Freedom of Information request that the new North-South air link will cost Welsh taxpayers £3.94 million pounds over a period of four years.

#5Years of Carwyn and Welsh Labour

Under Carwyn Jones’ five years as First Minister, Wales has got poorer and the standard of public services has declined, Welsh Conservatives claimed today.

Carwyn Jones was sworn in as Welsh First Minister on 10th December 2009.

Since December 2009:

Landmark ASBO for Rhondda drunken offender

A Rhondda man who became the first in RCT to be banned from hospitals in a landmark ASBO secured to curb his unacceptable drunken and anti-social behaviour has been placed on a second order.


Following Wales’ best ever Commonwealth Games medal haul, cyclist Geraint Thomas and gymnastics coach, Jo Coombs, took the major titles at the Wales Sport Awards ceremony in Cardiff this evening (Monday December 8).

Children admit e-cigarette use

The BMA has warned of the potential dangers of e-cigarettes after a survey revealed children as young as 10 are experimenting with the devices.

Foster Carers Commended

Foster carers who, between them, have cared for hundreds of the county borough’s most vulnerable and needy young people for nearly 250 YEARS, have been commended and thanked this week.

Local schools celebrate winning the prestigious National Quality Award for Healthy Schools

Three schools are celebrating winning the prestigious National Quality Award (NQA) for Healthy Schools which they achieved in the summer term 2013/2014.

Flexible workers across Cardiff & Valleys to save 50% on the cost of train travel with new app

Arriva Trains Wales has launched a new money saving special offer, available through its unique Mobile Multi-Flex ticket app, which will benefit part-time and flexitime commuters across the Cardiff & Valleys region.

Hopes dashed of judicial review on hospital decision

Hospital campaigners hopes were dashed earlier this week when Rhondda based Judge Justice Wyn Williams, sitting at the civil court in Cardiff, turned down their application for a judicial review against Cwm Taf Community Health Council.

New Platforms for Pontypridd Station

From Sunday 14th December, the following changes will be taking effect:

Warning following report of lost medication: Aberdare

A health warning has been issued by South Wales Police following the report that a person lost their prescription medication on a bus on Thursday, 4 December.
Officers are concerned as the medication – which has not been recovered - can be harmful if taken without a prescription.

Rhondda AM determined to push Council mergers through

Rhondda's Labour Assembly Member Leighton Andrews has been stamping his feet and getting a bit red in the face this week as he has a tendency to do when he doesn't get his own way.

Plaid unveils business-boosting policies to support 'backbone of Welsh economy'

This afternoon, Plaid Cymru's Jonathan Edwards MP and Rhun ap Iorwerth AM will unveil two of the party's key Westminster election pledges putting Plaid Cymru firmly on the side of Welsh businesses.

Don't Be A Turkey This Christmas

Christmas is often a time of enjoying lots of food, drink and over indulgence – but it can become a festive period of unwanted illness or even food poisoning.

Plaid challenges Labour and Tories on fracking powers for Wales

In the Commons today, Plaid Cymru's Jonathan Edwards MP will challenge the Labour and the Conservative party to bring forward amendments to the Infrastructure Bill that would grant the Welsh Government power over fracking in Wales.

Nuisance calls taskforce report published

The government’s Nuisance Calls Taskforce formally set out its recommendations to help tackle the problem of unwanted calls and texts today.

School funding crisis must be tackled

Commenting on warnings from the Association of School and College Leaders Cymru that the average Welsh secondary school could soon face a funding shortfall of over £1million, Angela Burns AM, Shadow Minister for Education, said:

Young Wales – Cymru Ifanc: Information for children and young people

Children in Wales has recently started a new project with funding by the Welsh Government. This funding will enable us to:

Bogus phone call alert

We've teamed up with Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water up to warn older people about bogus phone callers.

It comes after reports that scammers pretending to be from Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water have been trying to con people into giving their bank details.

St John’s Estyn Report December 2014

We are delighted that the school has been judged as ‘Excellent’ by inspectors during its recent Estyn Inspection. St John’s is one of the few schools in Wales to have been given an ‘Excellent’ for current performance in the past 2 years.

Local Labour party in disarray.

For some time now we have been highlighting the growing discontent that seems to exist within the local Labour party.

People with diabetes in Rhondda Cynon Taf are urged to manage their condition over festive season

There are currently around 13,400 people living with diabetes in Rhondda Cynon Taf, and in the run up to Christmas a health charity is encouraging them to be mindful of their condition.


The Wales YFC Rural Affairs Conference promises to be an exciting event with many inspirational speakers confirmed.

Unexplained death: Abercynon

Police narrow their appeal following positive public response

Abercynon Body identified as Vietnamese national

The man whose deceased body was discovered on common ground in Abercynon on Tuesday (December 2), off a road which runs from the A4054 towards Whitehall Golf Course, has now been identified as Tinh Van Tran, who is a 41 year-old Vietnamese national.

Plaid win appeal to force the Welsh Government to disclose jobs and investments in enterprise zones

The Information Commissioner has given the Welsh Government a 35 day deadline to provide a breakdown of jobs created and retained in each of its enterprise zones.

Think about where you crash this Christmas

South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) have launched their Christmas advert for this year’s festive period – ‘Should Have Crashed’.

Bowling Alley Licensee Prosecuted

Licensees are once again being urged to ensure they and their staff know the law, after a bowling complex manager was prosecuted for “substituting” vodka as a result of a “mistake from a staff member”.

Fiscal outlook for Wales reflects Westminster incompetence

Austerity and de-industrialisation a dent in Welsh tax take

Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood has today said the first OBR publication of tax revenue forecasts for Wales is a vindication of her party’s long held view that Westminster can’t be trusted with Wales’ economy.

Merthyr Tydfil’s new undergraduate medical education facility poised to open its doors

New undergrad facility_POThe construction of a new undergraduate medical education facility at Keir Hardie University Health Park in Merthyr Tydfil is almost complete, with new doctors in training preparing to start their studies on January 5th 2014.

Cynon Nativity

There's just 2 days to go of Cynon Nativity at St Elvan's Aberdare!

Leaving Your Leaves Could Cause Flooding!

The autumn leaves are falling and the weather has now turned blustery, wet and cold – perfect conditions for flooding!

Arrest operation nets eight suspects across RCT and Merthyr Tydfil

A police operation resulted in the arrest of eight suspects across Rhondda Cynon Taff and Merthyr Tydfil in two days.

Urgent call for two, three and four year olds to be vaccinated against flu

Figures show 78% currently unprotected

Top health officials in Wales have issued an urgent call to parents of two, three and four year olds to get their children vaccinated against flu this winter, with only one in five of those eligible vaccinated so far.

A Bike for Christmas

Do you remember the Christmas or birthday you received the gift of a new bike?

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council has a number of “nearly-new” bicycles available to purchase at a massively reduced price this Christmas.

Troubling drop in Welsh exports

Welsh Conservatives have labelled a significant drop in Welsh exports as ‘extremely troubling’.

Welsh government figures, released today, show an 89 million pounds fall for the four quarters leading up to and including 2014 quarter three, compared with the previous four quarters.

National Preventive Mechanism publishes annual report into UK detention

The fifth annual report of the UK’s national mechanism for the prevention of torture and ill treatment in detention is being published on 4 December.

HIW contributed to this report as we are a member organisation of the National Preventative Mechanism.

Pop-Up shops lead 'Open for Christmas' campaign

Pop-up shops in empty high street stores should be better encouraged and entirely exempt from business rates.

That’s the leading call from Welsh Conservatives in a new campaign aimed at boosting and supporting Welsh high streets.

Partners sign the Time To Change Pledge to end stigma surrounding mental health

Time to Change_POTHREE of South Wales’ biggest service providers and employers have joined forces to end the stigma that still, all too often, surrounds mental health issues.


On Tuesday 2nd December at the Royal Welsh Winter Fair, Wales YFC welcomed Princess Anne to the YFC Centre.

Councillor fired for raising concerns about social worker caseloads attacks ‘inaccurate’ report

Cllr Malcolm King was removed from his post but says he won’t stop until child protection is truly a priority

by Rachel Schraer on December 3, 2014 in Careers, News workforce, Workforce

Businesses join forces to fight the festive fat

Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water is teaming up with supermarkets Sainsbury’s and Waitrose and water companies across the UK to encourage customers not to cause pains in the drain this Christmas.

Santa Strategy makes RCT a laughing stock.

RCT Council have been made to look a laughing stock after their events department arranged to have Santa leave Aberdare town centre in a Police riot van.

South Wales Police appeal for information following unexplained

South Wales Police has launched an investigation following the discovery of a man’s body on common land near Abercynon.

Madness of Taff Street traffic changes without notice

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell has described as "utter madness" plans by RCT Council to change the time at which traffic is allowed through Taff Street in Pontypridd without notice.

Mountain Ash Market Is On The Move

Mountain Ash Market is on the move to help attract more shoppers into the popular valleys’ town.

Following requests by local traders, the Council is moving the weekly market from the short term to the long term car park on Henry Street.

The Blackout - Farewell Show

We’re incredibly gutted to hear the news that Merthyr’s finest The Blackout have decided to call it quits in 2015. The band have been great supporters of Merthyr Rock since the beginning, and have also been fine ambassadors for the Welsh rock scene.

Cwmbach Shopkeeper Fined For Underage Alcohol Sale

A Cwmbach shop owner has been prosecuted by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council after an underage girl purchased alcohol from his premises.

Keep Safe Cymru Card introduced

The ‘first registered card scheme of its kind in Wales’ to help people with learning disabilities or a mental health condition – with a communication need.

Police in Rhondda are appealing for help in identifying Rhondda man

Police in Rhondda are appealing for help in identifying this man caught on CCTV.
He is wanted in connection with a number of thefts which have occurred in shops throughout Tonypandy.

Rebalance powers and investment

Leanne Wood calls for alternative to austerity

The UK Government’s austerity agenda has failed and must be replaced by a programme of rebalancing wealth and power. That was the message from the Party of Wales leader Leanne Wood on the eve of the UK Government’s Autumn Statement.

Schoolchildren Have Their Say On Lido Ponty

Pontypridd schoolchildren are having their say on the type of play and activity equipment made available in the state-of-the-art Lido Ponty.


Gwen Samuel of Aberedw YFC in Radnor bred the champion lambs in the Wales YFC Best Prime Lamb Producer sponsored by Dunbia. The reserve champion was bred by Caitlin Harley of Builth Wells YFC, Brecknock.


Wales YFC were pleased to welcome sponsors ABP Food Group to the Winter Fair Calf Rearing competition once again.

Pontypridd's 'Through At Three' Scheme Approved

“Through After Three” – a new initiative to allow motorists into Pontypridd town centre at 3pm daily is being introduced thanks to the partnership working between high street traders and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council.

Plaid Cymru warns of TTIP threat

US-EU trade deal could threaten democratic decision-making

Plaid Cymru has today warned of the potentially damaging effect of a trade deal between the EU and US.

Local Engagement Sessions

The latest in a round of public engagement sessions announced by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Leader Cllr Andrew Morgan as part of the consultation process for music and nursery service change proposals, takes place tonight.

Failure of austerity shows Westminster isn't working for Wales

Responding to the Chancellor’s Autumn Statement, Plaid Cymru Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards MP said:

Don't get caught out by the cold - make sure your pipes are wrapped up warm this winter

Protect water pipes and prevent the inconvenience and expense of frozen or bursts pipes
Properties left empty are at risk too so make sure they are protected

Mountain Ash Christmas Event Saturday 6

Henry Street Car Park will be filled with free family fun from 11am to 7pm. Santa will be in his grotto from 11am to 1pm and 3pm to 6pm. Other attractions include a giant snow globe, toboggan run, children's entertainment, festive funfair and more.

Sleeping Beauty panto at Penrhiwceiber

Come and see our amazing Sleeping Beauty panto at Penrhiwceiber Hall on December 5th. Enjoy a stunning performance of the children's classic - 100 minutes of festive, family fun, from Wales' biggest, brightest touring pantomime.
£8 Adult, £5 Child, £22 family ticket

St John Baptist C.I.W. High School

A report on
St John Baptist C.I.W. High School
Glan Road

Controversial school sickness advice leaflet withdrawn after Welsh Lib Dem pressure

A controversial leaflet which appeared to advise parents to send their sick children to school and which caused outrage amongst parents in RCT has been withdrawn.

Disgrace of lady who waited five hours on floor because of ambulance failings

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell has hit out at the "appalling" state of the ambulance service after a lady from Cilfynydd spent five hours on the floor because equipment needed to lift her was not available.

Christmas Recycling Countdown in Rhondda Cynon Taf

The countdown to Christmas has begun and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is encouraging residents to recycle festively and give a special gift to the environment by recycling all their extra waste over the festive period.

Plaid peer makes case for Welsh control over fracking

Plaid peer Lord Dafydd Wigley will today (Tuesday) use a questions session in the House of Lords to make the case for Wales to have the same power as Scotland over fracking.

Support Your Local Small Business

Come and support your high street businesses and help boost the local economy!

Small Business Saturday takes place on December 6th to encourage shoppers to support smaller traders both on the day and beyond.

£15 million towards dementia research to be announced in Autumn Statement

In tomorrow's Autumn Statement, George Osborne will pledge at least £15 million towards a new fund for dementia research.

Have Yourself A Fake-Free Christmas

As the Christmas shopping frenzy is gathering pace, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s Trading Standards are warning residents to be vigilant and wary of counterfeit goods and scams.

Time to Change Wales Young person survey

The Welsh Institute of Health & Social Care in partnership with Time To Change Wales are conducting an online survey which is designed to gain an understanding about young people’s experiences and feelings in regards to mental health.

Autumn statement money must be spent on cancer drugs

The Welsh Conservative Leader has today called for additional money heading to Wales, as a result of the Chancellor’s autumn statement, to be spent – in part – on a much-needed cancer treatments fund.

BMA seeks health spending clarity

The BMA has echoed calls by politicians for greater clarity on health spending in Wales.

money pillsIn October, the Welsh Government announced an extra £425m in healthcare funding over the next two years.


National Theatre Wales is inviting proposals from across south Wales for the second event in its Big Democracy Project. The project explores how art and creativity can play a part in helping communities across Wales re-engage with the democratic process.

End to exam fiascos - ATL Cymru welcomes Qualifications Wales Bill

Commenting after the publication of the Qualifications Wales Bill, Dr. Philip Dixon, Director of ATL Cymru said: 'The establishment of Qualifications Wales is welcome for several reasons.

St John Baptist Staff Raise £218 For Macmillan Cancer Support

Staff were treated to a well deserved cake at the end of October. Mrs Hedges, Mrs Slade and Mrs Webber organised a Macmillan Coffee Morning for staff during the break time. Mrs Slade and Mrs Hedges baked lots of scrummy cakes and I got my Mum to bake for me!

Wales’s statutory food hygiene rating scheme extended

Wales’ food hygiene rating scheme is being extended to trade-to-trade businesses, such as food manufacturers and wholesale providers who sell food to other businesses, Deputy Health Minister Vaughan Gething has announced.

Jordan's A Future Champion!

Teenage golf sensation Jordan Rosser hopes to one day emulate the success of Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Olympic and Commonwealth Games athletes - he has already been earmarked as a ‘Future Champion.’

South Wales Police has launched the All Wales Winter Anti Drink and Drug Driving Campaign.

Drink-drive victim, Dr Mark Boulcott will be supporting the campaign, after he lost his wife and he was left disabled by a drink driver, when the annual campaign is launched by Dyfed-Powys Police on behalf of the four Welsh forces.

Giant Panto Is Full Of Beans!

There is a just a week until performances of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s hilarious family pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk begin – oh yes there is!

Sports scholarships awarded to elite USW athletes

Some of the country’s future sporting stars have been awarded scholarships from the University of South Wales.

Call to balance primary care resources

A balance of resources is needed to enable everyone access to GP services in Wales, doctors leaders have said.
The call follows the publication of the National Survey for Wales, which showed employed people found it difficult to get an appointment with their GPs.