Council tax up again did we get value for money from a contract for replacing a retaining wall in Gwawr Street Aberaman?
Council tax for residents in Rhondda Cynon Taf was approved by labour councillors another rise of 2.65%, why is our council tax going up every year in one of the poorest parts of Wales?
Do our labour run council give us value for money lots of hype and propaganda put out of social media on what they are doing well there is an election due?
So who’s getting a big pot of your tax money besides the basic needs, contractors and consultants who Rhondda Cynon Taf County Council employ jobs for the boys.
The reason I say this we pay our tax and expect to get value for money, a local resident brought my attention to work contractors have done of the Nant Gwawr watercourse in Aberaman the replacement of retaining wall part of the original stone wall through lack of maintenance by the council just collapsed into the watercourse, therefore instead of just pointing and replacing a few stones removing vegetation a major contract was needed at extra cost.
So did we get value for money? Well, there was the consultant’s fees CAPITA and their subsidiary Redstart who supplied drawings and supervision (Clark of Works remember them) Redstart also owned by CAPITA and then the contractor who carried out the work Centregreat.
Some of you may be aware I and other residents in Gwawr Street and Brook Street have been asking the council to clean out a culvert that runs across Gwawr Street but the council refuse to do this (even though the council claim to have a dedicated culvert cleaning team) emails to our labour MS get no response.
So how did this contract go, a temporary bridge was placed over the watercourse and then removed the brick retaining wall by the school has a large crack and brickwork where the bridge was placed also brickwork at the top of the wall is damaged not the best way to leave a job, the sediment catchment area has not been reinstated perhaps someone from RCT Council can provide a response? Residents living in Cardiff Road AberGwawr Street Holford Street Curre Street should be concerned if this is not done I expect many residents remember being flooded out.
Let's look at the replacement stonewall that has been completed just a few weeks ago, we should be asking the council why is the mortar falling out of the joints some joints have no mortar in them. The same can be said for the concrete coping the mortar retaining them is also bad in places this is evident looking at the photographs just how much has fallen out onto the new tarmacadam footpath. Do anyone from the council check the works if so are they happy with the finish?
A new concrete block wall was erected as part of the contract I am informed that the contractor had insufficient blocks to complete the wall and a local resident gave them blocks to finish the job concrete blocks with a different colour but its only Aberaman. So the main contractor has left and I assume that Redstart was happy with the work you can make your own mind up by looking at the photographs.
But wait a minute one contractor has left the job and another contractor starts working on the same watercourse within weeks, after speaking to the men working there today I find this contractor is cleaning out the bed of the watercourse due to erosion of the bank and has placed large stones to prevent this happening I am informed that more work has to be done all along the new stench to prevent it from happening in the future.
Just one of the questions I put to Redstart and the council also our MS but no one bothered to answer.
My question was (4) “The watercourse embankment on the Blaengwawr school side will not have any protection work to prevent bank erosion no gabions or replacing the well-eroded stonewall that once was in place to prevent this?”
It would appear no one working for the council is interested happy to pay over the odds for outside consultants and even allow them to monitor the work using another arm of their own company to supervise. I can envisage old school clerk of works not allowing a quarter that goes on nowadays in construction.
We have a labour councillor living meters away from this new wall is there any point in contacting her? No point what so ever I assume she passes this wall almost daily. So there you have it do you think RCT residents have value for money out of the tax we pay?
It would appear there is no common sense employing one contractor only to employ another to complete work that common sense would say was required in the first place but that the labour way half a job.