User menu

strapped for cash council keeps on wasting public money on unworkable systems

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council installed two new water pumps and associated electrical equipment at the Ynys. The pumps installed are not fit for purpose because either the pumps are to small or the discharge point is underwater. The Right of Way (ROW) in the Ynys is now underwater and unusable, thousands spent by RCTC and the problem remains. The leader of the council keeps on saying the council is strapped for cash but his council keeps on wasting public money on unworkable systems.

Below copy of an email from AberdareOnline to Rhondda Cynon Taf Council 28th August 2014, it refers to the ROW from Violet Street Aberaman to Cwmbach, a public footpath that is well used by the public everyday.

I thank you for your responses and make the following comments
You said, “The ‘overflow & stepping stones’ feature towards the lower end of the canal is designed to alleviate flooding during periods of heavy rain & although it will inhibit the use of the path by wheelchair users during these periods it is passable under normal weather conditions for the majority of the time.”

You would be aware stepping-stones placed on the ROW are unlawful, where a physical feature makes it impossible or unreasonably difficult for disabled persons to make use of such a service, it is the duty of the provider of that service to take such steps as it is reasonable, in all the circumstances of the case, for him to have to take in order to (a) remove the feature; (b) alter it so that it no longer has that effect; (c) provide a reasonable means of avoiding the feature; or (d) provide a reasonable alternative method of making the service in question available to disabled persons.

You said you intend “improving the Northern end of the canal path, with better provision being made for disabled access.” That is excellent news but as you were aware we were talking about the stepping-stones.
I am informed that the obstructions were placed there just 6 years ago well inside the Discrimination Act 1995 and the local authority were well aware of the Disability Discrimination Act 1995.

As you are aware Section 69 of the Countryside and Rights of Way Act requires local authorities to have regard to people with mobility problems when authorising structures on public rights of way. You would be aware section 21B(1) of DDA2005 makes it unlawful for an authority to discriminate against a disabled person when carrying out its functions.

Most of the year it is imposable to access this right of way because of overflowing water, you would be aware all rights of way marked on the definitive map should be assessable. As we are talking about a small area it would not be imposable to construct a small platform to overcome the problem, making it easer for people with mobility problems and parents pushing a pram or pushchair. I await your response.

With reference to the pump installed at the Ynys

“There are no guarantees that it will keep the underpass clear of water at all times throughout the year due to the surface levels, but it surely must be an improvement on the previous pump system.”

Are you saying the system installed is not fit for purpose? I would have thought that it would depend where you discharge the water from the pump and is the pump satisfactory for its function and discharge point?

I understand RCTC have a contract for “maintenance and service agreement with the company who undertook the work.”

Please can you provide a copy of:
The costs of pump instillation and associated works
Cost of maintenance and service agreement
Name of company that did the work
Name of other companies that RCTC went out for tenders for the contract