User menu

July 2020

Carers Wales launches 'Me Time' a new series of online activities

Carers Wales is delighted to announce a new series of online events to support the emotional well-being and mental health of unpaid carers in Wales.

High Court judge quashes decision of Rhondda Cynon Taf council to implement major school reorganisation

A High Court judge has quashed a decision by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council to implement proposals for a wide-ranging re-organisation of primary, secondary and sixth-form education in the Pontypridd area.

Care provider offers advice to elderly to avoid scams and fraudsters

STAFF at an award-winning Welsh care provider are (August 2020) offering free advice to the elderly on avoiding scams and fraudsters during the current climate. Abacare says the elderly are some of the most vulnerable people to fall victim to fraudsters and, according to National Trading Standards,

Call for Evidence – the State of Children’s Rights in Wales

This year marks the start of the journey towards the next examination of government’s progress in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC). 

A total of £265,503,877 of taxpayers’ money was paid out in clinical negligence claims in just four years,

Welsh Labour’s Health Minister must apologise for shocking clinical negligence figures.The Welsh Labour-led Government’s Health Minister must urgently apologise to patients and their families who were not given adequate health care, the Shadow Health Minister has demanded.A

Consultant appointments without leaving your home

If you are a patient waiting to see a consultant, specialist nurse or therapist, at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB you can now access your appointment via a secure video link without having to leave your home.The Health Board has introduced Attend Anywhere, an online system that enables patients to meet with

Bus stop upgrades between Aberaman and Abercynon

The Council has begun a series of improvements to bus stops at 30 locations on the B4275/A4054 route between Aberaman and Abercynon, utilising full funding from Welsh Government.

The Welsh Labour-led Government is running out of excuses for its testing debacle

Commenting on the latest testing statistics by Public Health Wales, the Shadow Minister for Health, Andrew RT Davies MS, said:“Today’s statistics have laid bare just how inadequate the Welsh Labour-led Government’s testing response has been.“For the third consecutive week now lab capacity has been s

Highway Code: your views needed to improve safety

Today (28 July 2020) a consultation has been launched seeking your views on proposed changes to the Highway Code. The review is being held by the Department for Transport, to improve safety for vulnerable road users, particularly the groups of:
  • cyclists
  • pedestrians
  • horse rider

More work, less teaching, hostile media and an unsupportive government – teachers report on a term like no other

‘Exhausted’ staff try to recover from summer term, but few anticipate opportunity to switch off and relax Lockdown and home learning has presented huge challenges for parents and children, but how have teachers fared?

Praise For The Diana Award Recipients

The two Rhondda Cynon Taf recipients of The Diana Award 2020 have been inundated with messages of goodwill and support from family members, politicians, teachers and celebrities.Students Alysa Neads and Declan Andrews-James both received The Diana Award 2020 in recognition of their work in their com

Win your very own puppet in Tenovus Cancer Care’s raffle

Foxglove puppets have kindly offered one lucky winner the chance to win a bespoke puppet.  The puppet can be of you, a family member, friend or even your pet!

HMRC urges parents to claim Child Benefit

Parents in Wales are being urged to claim Child Benefit, even if they have not yet been able to register the birth of their new-borns, to ensure they don’t miss out. Between April and July 2019, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) received 49,637 more new Child Benefit claims compared to the same period i

Velindre University NHS Trust to host first virtual Board meeting

Velindre University NHS Trust will hold its first virtual Board meeting in public on Thursday 30 July.The Trust Executive Team and Non-Executive Directors will hold their Board meeting in public using the Zoom platform in an organisational first.

Tax credits deadline: customers at risk of losing out

Tax credits customers have just one week left to tell HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) about changes to their circumstances or income before the deadline on 31 July 2020. Customers whose circumstances have changed in the last year or who have received a letter to reconfirm their income details must con

Police and Crime Commissioner’s publicity spending increases by 280%. Well its only public money so who cares

Police Act 1829 established a full-time, professional and centrally police force. No Police and crime commissioners until 22 November 2012 do we need them?Freedom of Information requests by the Welsh Conservatives have uncovered that Wales’ Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) have

£209m wasted annually on rough-sleeping initiatives in Wales

Mark Isherwood MS – the Shadow Minister for Local Government and Housing – has reacted with concern to a report released today (July 23) by Audit Wales into the Welsh Labour-l

Independent report finds homes created under PDR offer worse residential environments

Homes created under permitted development rights (PDR) conversions offer worse residential environments than those converted under normal planning permission, research for the Government has found.



More than 100 years to pay back M4 Relief Road Waste

A Freedom of Information request by the Welsh Conservatives on the now defunct M4 Relief Road scheme has found that a total of 29 houses were purchased for £15,277,202 through compulsory purchase orders in preparation for the new road.

Amazing Recycling Efforts in RCT

Thank you to RCT residents who have kept up their amazing recycling efforts during these unprecedented times.The Council are continuing to collect tonnes of recycling every week and the Streetcare team have gone above and beyond to ensure that collections have continued.The last few months has broug


RHONDDA CYNON TAFF COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL(CWMDARE ROAD, ABERDARE) (VARIATION AND WAITING RESTRICTIONS) ORDER 2020 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council have made an Order under Sections 1, 2 and 4 of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 (“the Act”) and all other e

Shadow Health Minister slams plans for ‘redesigning access’ to A & E services

“The Minister’s plans are not a bright new dawn for NHS Wales, but will lead to more of the same failures.”That was the verdict of Shadow Health Minister for Health, Social Care, and Sport – Andrew RT Davies MS – on the announcement today (July 21) from the Health Minister about “redesigning access”

In Wales, shoddily worded regulations have given some legitimacy to these unlawful practices with apparent encouragement from local authorities.

Our general secretary Kate Ashbrook considers life for the Open Spaces Society during the lockdown.As lockdown began, I foolishly thought we would have time to catch up with all those long-deferred jobs.

A cannabis factory in Rhondda led police to further factories in Cardiff and Newport on Sunday (19 July).

Officers forced entry to a house on East Road in Tylorstown after neighbours reported suspicious activity and a distinctive smell coming from the property.Bedrooms in the end of terrace house were being used to grow and dry approximately 100 plants at the address.It was parking permit found in a veh

Home Office issues guidance on ‘Community Trigger’ ASB case reviews

The Home Office has published guidance on the anti-social behaviour case review – also known as the “Community Trigger”.The Community Trigger was introduced through the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014.It gives vic

Hirwaun Post Office finalist in ‘We’re Stronger Together’ awards for service during Covid-19 pandemic

  • Hirwaun Post Office finalist in Better for Customers category at the Post Office’s ‘We’re Stronger Together’ regional awards for Northern Ireland and Wales
  • Awards recognise efforts made by postmasters across the region to keep branches open during Covid-19 pandemic and serving their

Guidance on masks ‘has been lacking’

Government measures and public guidance on face-covering rules in England are unclear, inconsistent and cause widespread Peter Blackburn

Andrew Davies from Aberaman jailed for the manslaughter of Luke Williams

Andrew Davies, 52, of Aberaman, was sentenced to nine years in prison for the manslaughter of Luke Williams at Merthyr Tydfil Crown Court today (Friday, 17 July, 2020).Luke Williams died at Prince Charles Hospital on 19th December, 2019, following an incident which occurred on the evening of 16th De

School return arrangements confirmed for Rhondda Cynon Taf September 2020

Parents and carers have received a letter from the Education and Inclusion Service Director explaining the local ‘back to school’ plan for the 2020/21 academic year – with schools across Rhondda Cynon Taf opening for a phased return from September 3. This followed Welsh Government announcing on July

Chris Packham launches the Big Butterfly Count across Wales and the UK

Big Butterfly Count 2020 launches today: Has nature helped you through the last few months?

National Lottery supports Welsh charity as it readies itself for domestic abuse spike.

A Welsh charity that provides second-hand furniture and electrical goods to those in need is readying itself for a huge spike in demand due to domestic abuse during lockdown.toogoodtowaste – which operates across Rhondda Cynon Taf – has secured a grant of more than £31,000 from The National Lottery

The quest to tackle illegal off road biking across Merthyr Borough? What about Cynon Valley?

 Local Policing Inspector Jon Duckham and Leader of the Merthyr Borough Council Kevin O'Neill united in the quest to tackle illegal off road biking across Merthyr Borough.If you see it, report it - 

When I wear a mask in public:

When I wear a mask in public:II want it to be known that I know that I could be asymptomatic and still give the virus.No, I don't ′′live in fear′′ of the virus; I just want to be part of the solution, not the problem.I don't feel like "the government is controlling me".

HMRC: latest statistics CJRS and SEISS

Please find links below to updated (to 30 June) stats for the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme (CJRS) and Self-Employment Income Support Scheme (SEISS). There are two tables for both CJRS & SEISS, providing a sector breakdown each nation and region in the UK, and more detailed information by age

Covid testing stalls in Wales

Figures published on July 14  indicate that the testing regime for Covid-19 in Wales has stalled, with no increase in capacity since last week, a drop to below 20 percent of capacity be

BMA Response to Welsh Government announcement on mandatory face coverings

Responding to the announcement by the Welsh Government on Monday 13 July, that face-covering will be mandatory on public transport in Wales by July 27th, BMA Cymru Wales council Chair Dr David Bailey said:“We welcome today’s announcement that face coverings will become mandatory on public transport

Mountain Ash man, 20, jailed following crash in which in cousin died

A 20 year-old man from Mountain Ash was jailed for causing death by careless or inconsiderate driving last week.Ethan Roberts, of Jeffrey Street, was jailed for six months at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday, 10 July, 2020.His cousin, Ryan Hamer, also 20, was a passenger in the blue Toyota Yarris which

Welsh Government fires gun on procurement of new £60m solicitors services framework

The Welsh Government’s National Procurement Service has started the procurement of a new framework agreement for the provision of solicitors services to the Welsh public sector.The Service said it was anticipated that the framework agreement would cover the following subject area packages:
  1. Ad

Everyone’s Got A Story To Tell?

Hi,We’ve just released a book called Everyone’s Got A Story To Tell which is a collection of stories by ordinary people from towns and cities all over the UK (and abroad too) however their stories are far from ordinary.

Care is job for life in Wales – those made redundant by COVID-19 urged to apply

A WALES home care provider says care roles represent jobs for life in economically uncertain times and with the threat of a recession following in the aftermath of COVID-19 (July, 2020). According to experts, unemployment figures will continue to rise with the young and those who work for non-essent

Face coverings should be mandatory from today, not in a fortnight’s time

Shadow Covid Recovery Minister Darren Millar MS has welcomed the First Minister’s announcement that face coverings will become mandatory from July 27 – a move Welsh Conservatives have repeatedly called for – but questioned why it is not being introduced immediately.Mr Millar said:“The mandatory wear

Three further libraries to reopen later this week

The Leader of the Council has made a statement about the intention to re-open the next stage of the Council’s library services – extending to three further branches on Thursday, July 16.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “As Council services begin to com

Agenda to ease lockdown

Following the announcement today (July 10) ending the latest three-week period of lockdown caused by the Covid pandemic, Paul Davies MS – Leader of the Opposition in the Welsh Parliament – said:“Yesterday we published a list of 10 things we wanted the Welsh Government to deliver as part of its coron

Police in Aberdare seized lock knives from a man who they stopped on the A4059

Police in Aberdare seized lock knives from a man who they stopped on the A4059 in the early hours of this morning.Officers were patrolling when they noticed a car veering across the centre line of the A4059 so they pulled the driver over.Cannabis along with three small knives were seized following a

RCT Council Children's play areas will begin to reopen from July 20

The Council Leader has made a statement in relation to the reopening of children’s play areas in Rhondda Cynon Taf, following the First Minister’s announcement earlier today.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, said: “Following the First Minister’s announcement

Millions needed to get stroke research back on track

UK’s leading stroke charity warns research faces long-term threat due to coronavirus pandemicAlmost three quarters (74%) of stroke research projects funded by the Stroke Association have been suspended because ofthe coronavirus pandemic. (i) Moreover, the UK’s leading stroke charity anticipates a sh

Education Minister announces ‘back to school’ plans for September

The Welsh Education Minister has today confirmed that all pupils will be able to return to school in September.The Welsh Technical Advisory Group, which provides scientific and technical advice to Government during emergencies, this week recommended to the Minister that schools “plan to open in Sept

Court of Appeal upholds "unparalled" Housing (Wales) Act 2014 eviction rules

Welsh law means that a landlord who is unlicensed cannot lawfully serve an eviction notice on tenants, the Court of Appeal has found.Lord Justice Newey upheld a ruling by Swansea County Court that landlord Darren Jarvis had not served a valid notice on Darryl and Karen Evans, who had rented a home f

Bedtime MRI scans for children cut waiting times and anxiety levels

A new ‘bedtime’ MRI scanning service for young children is reducing the need for general anaesthetic and dramatically cutting waiting times at the Princess of Wales Hospital in Bridgend.The idea behind the initiative is that children come into hospital at bedtime and are sleepy or even fast asleep w

RCT Libraries Extend Order And Collect Service

The Council’s Library Service is extending its new ‘Order and Collect’ service to include three more of its branches, with effect from Thursday, July 16.Book lovers from across the County Borough will be able to select and reserve up to five books via the Council’s online catalogue or by telephoning

Penrhiwceiber Mountain Ash Road Closures

RHONDDA CYNON TAFF COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL(VARIOUS ROADS, MOUNTAIN ASH)(TEMPORARY TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS) ORDER 2020 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council intends, not less than 7 days from the date of this Notice, to make an Order under Section 14 of the Road Traffi

Ton Pentre’s Darren helps Army’s Covid-19 operation

A Ton Pentre man who was called up to help in the Army’s response to the Covid-19 pandemic has returned to his day job.At the beginning of April, Darren Griffiths, 42, swapped his usual job as a Gas Engineering Operative for gas emergency and pipeline service, Wales & West Utilities, to help on

Community schools families and communities at the heart of school life

RecommendationsTo realise the vision for effective community schools in Wales in a strategic and sustainable way:Schools should:
  • R1 Build strong partnerships with families as an integral part of improving the wellbeing and achievement of all pupils
  • R2 Refer clearly in strategic plans

Couple’s Cambrian Way challenge for charity

A DARING duo of Welsh Ambulance Service staff are taking the high road and walking the length of Wales – all for charity.Paramedic Kevin O’Connor and his Emergency Medical Technician wife Cath, based in Barg

Welsh Government fiasco on Covid-19 testing

Responding to comments by the Welsh Government Health Minister regarding Covid-19 test result delays, Welsh Conservative Shadow Health Minister Angela Burns MS said:“The Labour-led Welsh Government has suggested that Covid-19 results in Wales are taking longer to turn around because there has been a

Sexual health home tests prove valuable tool during lockdown

People in Cwm Taf Morgannwg are now able to order sexual health testing kits online and carry out the tests in the privacy of their own home. The health board’s sexual health team has joined forces with Frisky Wales, a service run by Public Health Wales, to ensure people can get tested for sexually

A Welsh Consultant shares the impact the virus has had on his personal and professional life

As a consultant hepatologist at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital, my day job before Covid-19 often involved many face-to-face patient reviews, ambulatory unit hot clinics (where patients can access same-day care), endoscopies and multidisciplinary teams.

‘More assistance is needed to help Wales’ vitally important buses’ – Shadow Minister

Commenting on the announcement of the Bus Emergency Scheme, the Shadow Transport Minister, Russell George MS, said:“Buses are the most frequently used method of public transport in Wales and for that reason they have a key role in connecting communities.

RCTC Cabinet Receives Update on Social Distancing Measures

Cabinet Members have received an update on the changes made to help residents maintain social distancing within popular public spaces – including markings and signage within Town Centres and parks.At their meeting on Thursday, June 25, via video conferencing, Cabinet considered an Officer report sum

A new Chief Executive.appointed to Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has successfully appointed a new Chief Executive.Paul Mears will join the UHB in September and brings a wealth of experience to the role, having previously been CEO of Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the Chief Operating Officer at Torbay Hospi

60 kilos of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin with a street value of an estimated £6 million and £25,000 in cash has been seized in police raids

More than 60 kilos of cocaine, crack cocaine and heroin with a street value of an estimated £6 million and £25,000 in cash has been seized in police raids across southern Wales after a massive breakthrough by UK law enforcement agencies took down a bespoke encrypted global communication service used

Aberdare to Hirwaun new rail line or new road thats the question?

Below is part of a press release put out by the Labour-controlled Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, what would seem unusual is the wording in some parts of the report.  “WelTAG 1 study on options to extend public transport from Aberdare Station to Hirwaun”  “WelTAG 2 study to arrive at a preferred option a



Footpath Closure Trecynon

RHONDDA CYNON TAFF COUNTY BOROUGH COUNCIL(FOOTPATH 18 ABERDARE)(TEMPORARY CLOSURE) ORDER 2020 NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Rhondda Cynon Taff County Borough Council intends not less than seven days from the date of this Notice to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Ac

Tax Credits: It’s time to update your award

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is reminding tax credits customers that they need to tell HMRC about any changes in their circumstances or income by 31 July.  Tax credits help working families with targeted financial support so it is important that people don’t miss out on money that they are entitled

£500 bonus: two months on, and no-one has received it WHY?

The Labour-led Welsh Government’s £500 bonus for care, health, and other key workers – which was announced two months ago today – has still yet to be paid to a single person.Commenting, Janet Finch-Saunders – the Shadow Minister for Social Care – said:“This bonus is proving to be a poisoned chalice

Shadow Minister echoes Commissioner’s call for a care-home action plan

Janet Finch-Saunders MS has echoed calls made by the Older People’s Commissioner for the Labour-led Welsh Government to publish an action plan to protect and support older people living in care homes in Wales. Their calls came alongside the publication of a new report – Care Home Voices: A snapshot