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October 2018

Taxpayers pick up the bill as Welsh Labour Government use credit cards to spend over £1.5m on indulgences

The Welsh Conservatives have obtained data showing £1,554,158.57 was spent by Welsh Government officials in 2017/18, including £964 at Zip World.

Swansea Council rejects claims it used wrong boundary over planning application

City and County of Swansea Council has rejected an allegation that it used the wrong boundary to appraise a planning application that affects the Gower area of outstanding natural beauty (AONB).

Vote for Disability Wales – ‘Endeavour’ will support disabled people in Wales to set up their own businesses

We need your votes!

We are really excited to be shortlisted for the NatWest Skills and Opportunities Grant and we need your votes! Our project – Endeavour – will support disabled people in Wales to set up their own businesses.

Expectant mothers urged to protect themselves and their unborn baby from flu

Public Health Wales is urging all pregnant women to have their free flu vaccine as research shows they are seven times more likely to die from flu than a woman who is not pregnant.

Are you struggling to get back to ‘normal’ after treatment for breast cancer?

Whether you are experiencing side effects of treatment, wondering how to adopt a healthier lifestyle or finding it hard to make sense of your breast cancer experience, our ‘Moving Forward’ courses are here for you.

A Report from Tower Site Public Meeting by Karen Morgan Plaid Cymru Councillor for Hirwaun

Just returned from the Tower Site Public Meeting. A short agenda which generated a lot of questions and answers. In summary:
Storm Callum:

Appalling Decision To Allow Wind Turbines On Powys Beauty-Spot

A Welsh Government minister has approved an application for seven wind-turbines at Llandegley Rocks, near Llandrindod Wells in Powys. The decision overturns the recommendation of an inspector at a public inquiry held in March.

Tourism investment funds open – proposals invited

Proposals are being invited from the tourism industry for the next round of tourism investment funds, in support of Wales’ thematic years. Visit Wales is looking for big idea projects which can make a real difference in making Wales a must visit destination.

Ferndale burglar who returned to his victim's home to ask for a cigarette jailed

Anthony Russell, 35, from Dyffryn Street, Ferndale, was convicted of two burglaries and jailed for 32 months at Cardiff Crown Court on Thursday, 25th October 2018. 

A4059 Aberdare Bypass Extension

Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member with responsibility for Highways, said: “Cabinet has recently received a report outlining progress updates on a number of major transportation schemes ongoing across the County Borough.

Fly-Tip in RCT and just some of you but not all WILL get FINED!

Ms Claire Rowlands, from Cwmbach you fly-tipped, twice and walked away with a fine for £1037.72!

Fly-tip in RCT and you will get caught - this is the warning being issued by Rhondda Cynon Taf Council as another offender has found out!

Danny Evans Memorial Stand

The Council’s new spectator stand at the newly-opened £3M Ron Jones Stadium in Aberdare is to be officially named in memory of a local sporting hero this weekend. 

Topping out ceremony at state-of-the-art palliative care unit a year since spades went into the ground

The last beam is being placed on a new palliative care unit being built by Cwm Taf and Macmillan – a year to the date since the turf was cut by the Health Secretary.


Welsh policy on FE provision for young people with learning difficulties "lawful"

Welsh ministers and the quango Careers Wales did not act unreasonably when they decided not to reassess the educational and training needs of a young man with a learning disability, a High Court judge has ruled.

Prince Charles Hospital to receive funding for radiology equipment

Cwm Taf University Health Board is delighted to have received funding for fluoroscopy equipment at Prince Charles Hospital, Merthyr Tydfil, as part of an £11m  investment by the Welsh Government across Wales to improve scanning equipment.

Man remanded at court for Mountain Ash burglary...

A man has appeared in court charged with two burglaries.
Gary William Jones, aged 30, of Church Village, Rhondda Cynon Taf, appeared before magistrates in Merthyr last week. 

Aberdare Licensee Prosecuted For Underage Sale

An Aberdare licensee has been fined after one of his staff members sold lager to a 13-year-old volunteer. 

Gosmitsing Kapoor, 26, is the Premise License Holder and Designated Premises Supervisor at Best One in Canon Street, Aberdare and  the person responsible for the business. 

Welsh Government delivering a budget of ‘smoke, mirrors, and broken promises’

The Welsh Government has been slated for delivering a ‘smoke and mirrors’ budget breakdown that fails to deliver for the people of Wales.



Welsh Government under pressure to review ‘flawed’ local government funding formula

The Welsh Government is under pressure to review its local government funding formula following questions by the Leader of the Welsh Conservatives.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s £2 Million Vanity Project in Pontypridd gets planning consent

The Council’s Planning and Development Committee has granted full planning permission for a pedestrian footbridge across the River Taff in Pontypridd, to link the flagship Taff Vale redevelopment with Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.

South Wales Police is appealing for information to locate a missing woman.

Nicole Maber, 25, who is from Llwynypia, was last seen at approximately 3.30pm in Penarth on Friday, 19th October 2018.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council announce new measures to help communities during extreme winter weather

Cabinet has agreed for the Council to implement a number of measures to allow residents to stay safe and informed, and to help each other, during extreme winter weather.

Liberty launches challenge over refusal of legal aid for PSPO cases

Human rights organisation Liberty has launched a legal challenge against the Legal Aid Agency over its refusal to grant legal aid for challenges to Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs).


A Mr Philip Rees on behalf of Friends of Aberdare Park has applied to convert a defunct paddling pool in Aberdare Park into a water play area (Splash Park) we are informed Mr Rees is husband to a local labour councillor Sharon Rees.


“A New Cabinet for a New Wales” – Plaid reveal new shadow cabinet

Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price has today revealed the new Plaid Cymru shadow cabinet that

Government to strengthen rules disqualifying offenders from serving on councils

The government is to strengthen rules preventing people found guilty of serious crimes from serving on local councils, it has been announced.

Spare a thought for elderly this Bonfire night

PEOPLE from Wales planning Bonfire night parties or fireworks displays this November (2018) are being urged to spare a thought for the elderly and vulnerable.


Welsh Conservatives to call for national plan to address NHS capacity pressures

In the Assembly this afternoon, the Welsh Conservatives will host a debate calling on the Welsh Labour Government to focus on a plan to properly and consistently fund NHS Wales throughout the year, and end the culture of ‘feast and famine’ through splurging money just for winter.

Ex-health boss ‘leaving Wales’ because of NHS failings

Responding, Angela Burns AM – the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Health – said:

“I’ve never seen such a strong personal indictment of the failures within the NHS in Wales.

Half of people in Wales don’t know that diabetes can cause erectile dysfunction

Diabetes UK launches new digital tool to help people understand more about the condition and how to m

15 Volunteering Wales projects specifically for 14 to 25 year olds

WCVA have announced that continuation funding for 49 Volunteering Wales projects has be confirmed by the Welsh Government.

Fifteen of those projects are specifically to enable young people age 14 to 25 to volunteer in their communities.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Statment Statement following the recent severe weather

Following this weekend’s adverse weather, the Council is currently undertaking a massive clean-up operation across the County Borough.

Just like the rest of Wales, and other parts of the UK, Rhondda Cynon Taf experienced severe weather from Thursday, October 11 to Sunay, October 14.

Children are ‘super spreaders’ when it comes to flu!

“It’s important we do what we can to protect children against infections and illnesses like flu, because as we all know, children are very good at spreading germs.”

Bake off meets dance as part of National Dance Company Wales new tour Roots this Autumn

A dancer in the kitchen making a mess with flour and eggs; stories about Italian women in the mafia and hip-hop ballet in the warmth of the Mediterranean is brought to the stages across Wales this autumn by National Dance Company Wales’ Roots tour - three short stories told through dance.

Charity calls for greater awareness of blindness in Wales

  • RNIB survey reveals that the biggest barrier facing blind and partially sighted people is the lack of knowledge and understanding of sight loss and outdated attitudes of the people around them1.
  • A poll of the general public backed up the charity’s research, with 32 per cent of people

Work goes on for NRW in aftermath of storm?

After a weekend of heavy rain and floods which hit South West Wales particularly hard, the clear up has begun.


Jail for Church Village conman behind £1 million fraud

A conman who fraudulently obtained a £1m loan he claimed was for humanitarian work before spending the cash on himself has been jailed for eight years and eight months.

Plaid Cymru Campaigning Review

New Plaid Cymru Leader Adam Price AM has announced that former SNP Depute Leader Angus Robertson will conduct a root and branch review of the party’s campaign machinery to: "look at our structures, our operations, capacity and ability to secure victory for Plaid Cymru in every corner of the count

Breast Cancer Awareness Month at St John

As part of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, eight girls from Year 8, one from Year 11 and two members of the PE department, took on a section of the 24 hour Zumba Challenge. This took place in the Principality Stadium.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council Statement of Accounts

The Council is required to prepare an annual Statement of Accounts detailing all of its financial activities during the year.

Coed Dyffryn Cwmbach,

The construction on a redundant ash tip and floodplain described as a fabulous development said Persimmon about Coed Dyffryn Cwmbach, it was estimated estimate 1000 tons of hardcore a day would be imported onto the site to raise the ground level I assume to prevent the flooding that now occurs ra

25% surge in Plaid Cymru membership in two weeks

Over 2,000 new members have joined the party since Adam Price was elected leader

Rhondda Cynon Taf update on the weather

Please note, the Met Office has issued a weather warning for rain covering the whole of Rhondda Cynon Taf on Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13.

Tŷ Newydd Courses 2019: Explore your creativity in Wales’ Year of Discovery

Literature Wales is proud to announce a new programme of creative writing courses at Tŷ Newydd Writing Centre for 2019.

Warnings as Storm Callum brings flood risk for Wales

Natural Resources Wales is asking people to be alert for flooding as heavy rain is expected across Wales later this week (Friday into Saturday morning).

October 16, Cabinet Members will consider an Officer report containing an update on the condition of the road network

Will the Cabinet consider the numerous complaints on Social Medea from local residents about all the near misses on the new road junction serving the cross-valley link at Mountain Ash?   

Family of Welsh minister lose judicial review bid over conduct of inquiry

The family of the late Welsh minister Carl Sargeant have lost an application for judicial review of the conduct of an inquiry into the events surrounding his death.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council say, 235 fines issued by Parking Enforcement Vehicle during September

More than 400 motorists have already been caught parking inconsiderately or dangerously by the Council’s Parking Enforcement Vehicle, during the whole of September - with the majority of these offences outside of schools across the County Borough.

Law Society backs planning inquiry system but calls for clearer procedures

Planning inquiries are the only appropriate procedure for determining more complex appeals and the appeals process “generally works well”, the Law Society has said in response to a call for evidence.

Halloween campaign for no ‘trick or treats’ on the elderly

A WELSH care provider is continuing its Halloween campaign for people to be more mindful of the elderly when ‘trick or treating’ (October, 2018).


Abacare first launched the campaign in 2014 to raise awareness of the elderly and vulnerable at this time of year.


Put your raise their game this autumn

The crisp air and the colors are less sharp, a making the perfect autumn amser Enjoy spectacular views of year roof and stunning scenery.


Polish teen from Merthyr up for national police award

A teenage Polish girl living in Merthyr Tydfil has been commended for her contribution to policing and has been shortlisted for one of Britain’s most prestigious policing awards.

No start date for the Aberdare Bypass

Cabinet Members have supported plans by the Welsh Government for its major dualling scheme on the A465 Heads of the Valleys road, by 2022.

Welsh Conservative Leader slams ‘government inertia’ for poor broadband coverage in Wales

The Leader of the Welsh Conservatives has blamed Wales’ poor broadband coverage on Welsh Government ‘bureaucratic inertia’.

Cwm Taf UHB statement in response to Cabinet Secretary’s statement, October 9th

Cwm Taf University Health Board has published the below statement following the Cabinet Secretary’s statement on maternity services on October 9th.

‘Fear and Blame Culture’ Must Be Addressed

A “fear and blame” culture within Welsh public sector bodies must be tackled if lessons are to be learnt from complaints, an Ombudsman report has found

GP secures funds for challenge to rules preventing wider charging of patients

A GP has secured his initial target of £5,000 to fund initial advice on a potential legal challenge to rules preventing GP practices from charging patients for all but a narrowly prescribed range of services.

Yet Another RCTC Consultation and then they do as they please anyway are they a waste of time?

Consultation agreed for 21st Century Schools investment in Pontypridd

Cabinet Members have agreed to an extensive consultation over new proposals to invest £37.4m in Pontypridd schools – which would be the latest wave of 21st Century Schools investment across the County Borough.

Recommendations for better diagnosis of Type 1 diabetes in children and young people accepted by Welsh Government

       Huge campaign victory for Cardiff family and Diabetes UK Cymru

  • Peter Baldwin’s legacy will help other children with the condition


£5 million Kancoat loss exposes Welsh Government's "unguarded attitude to risk"

Reports that more than £5 million of public money has been lost in supporting Swansea-based steel firm, Kancoat, has been described as "more than an isolated blip" by Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Russell George.

Traffic bottleneck on the A465 approach to Hirwaun Roundabout from Merthyr,

Following many posts on social media highlighting the traffic bottleneck on the A465 approach to Hirwaun Roundabout from Merthyr, the question commuters were asking why is the A465 approach road reduced to a single lane.

The new road junction constructed at Newtown Mountain Ash and the A4059

The new road junction constructed on the A4059 at Newtown Mountain Ash to serve the long-awaited Sothern Cross-Valley Link is proving to be a big problem for commuters.


The frontrunner to succeed Carwyn Jones as First Minister today indicated that Labour may break their 2016 manifesto pledge not to put up the rate of income tax before the 2021 Assembly election.


A recent review of incidents that we have instigated in our maternity service has identified the need to take action to ensure that risks are fully identified and any concerns are dealt with quickly and in the most appropriate way.



4 OCTOBER 2018

A letter from Chief Scout Bear Grylls

Dear Editor,


No matter which way you vote or what your worldview is, it’s vital that we find better ways to work together in our communities. When we don’t spend time understanding each other’s feelings, cracks begin to emerge in society.


Restart A Heart Day 2018 Welsh Rugby Union backs charity campaign to teach CPR throughout Wales!

Monday October 15th
Everyone welcome! 9am– 9pm Supported by The Welsh Rugby Union Riverside Suite, Principality Stadium, Cardiff

Protect yourself and your loved-ones from falls.

Falls are one of the biggest causes of hospital admissions for older people in Rhondda Cynon Taf - and partner agencies have put together a programme of support to assist.

Work of Virtual Ward team is recognised in UK awards shortlist

An Aberdare practice has been shortlisted as Team of the Year in a prestigious awards ceremony taking place in London in November.

Charity’s Wish to Screen Your Teens!

Cardiovascular disease is said to account for a third of all deaths in Wales.

Pontypridd schools next to have sixth form stripped away.

In July last year the Labour Cabinet in RCT announced plans to apply for funding to create two more "through schools" for 3 to 16 year olds.

Tenovus Cancer Care brings global ‘Know Your Lemons’ campaign to GP surgeries in Wales

Tenovus Cancer Care is delighted to announce a new partnership with Worldwide Breast Cancer to launch they're Know Your Lemons® breast cancer awareness campaign throughout the UK, with a launch in Wales.

4 Poets, 24 Hours, 100 Poems:

#Her100Cerdd returns to celebrate National Poetry Day

Operation Grey Anvil strikes a blow into local drugs network

South Wales Police executed a drugs warrant on Thursday, 28 September, 2018,at a flat in the Gurnos area of Merthyr Tydfil as part of Operation Grey Anvil.
Street deals of heroin, amphetamine and cash were discovered at the address in Palm Road.

Monmouthshire ranks top out of 22 Local authorities in Wales

Research shows that Monmouthshire has the most vibrant economy of any local authority in Wales – ranking top out of 22 local authorities in Wales.

Monmouthshire County Council broadens commercial property portfolio

Monmouthshire County Council is pleased to announce that it has acquired CastleGate Business Park in Caldicot from Robert Hitchins Ltd. The business park sits on a circa 17 acre site and provides 252,000 square foot of serviced accommodation.