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September 2021

Welsh Government issues planning guidance on development in flood zones

Wales has issued the UK’s toughest planning guidance on development in flood zones, which will effectively bar new homes in these areas unless strong defences are provided.The Welsh Government’s Technic

Excellent results at A-level lead to terrific opportunities at St John Baptist High School

Two medics, one medical schoolCian Durkin and Ethan Pritchard have long been contemporaries at St John Baptist High School and are now both going to Exeter University to train to be Doctors.

Update on available vocational lorry driver slots

To support the government’s plan to tackle the current shortage of lorry drivers we are giving you an up-to-date picture of test availability in your area.This week there are:
  • 168 appointments in the Midlands
  • 607 appointments in North of England
  • 925 appointments in Scotland

Transformation Of Former Mountain Ash Town Hall

One of the most prominent buildings in Mountain Ash town centre, the former town hall, has had a makeover, making it fit for purpose in the 21st Century. The Grade II listed building, majestically overlooking the town bridge at Ffrwd Crescent, was originally built in 1904 at a cost of £5,000.

First stage of repairs to the Iron Tram Bridge will begin this week

The first stage of repairs will begin from this week to repair the Iron Tram Bridge near Robertstown – which will see the Ancient Monument sympathetically restored off site and then reinstalled next year.The bridge was in a poor condition before Storm Dennis, and received further damage during the u

Labour “don’t know if they’re coming or going” on travel lists and tests

The Labour Government in Cardiff Bay has been accused of grandstanding by the Welsh Conservatives as ministers finally admit that having different rules across the UK caused “confusion and enforcement challenges” after months of creating contrary laws.Health Minister Baroness Morgan used an official

1,200 people cared for at state-of-the-art palliative care unit since it opened its doors at the Royal Glamorgan Hospital two years ago

More than 1,200 people have been cared for at a state-of-the-art palliative care unit largely funded by charities since it opened its doors two years ago. The milestone has been revealed to mark two years since the eight-bed Y Bwthyn NGS Macmillan Specialist Palliative Care Unit opened its doors at

Labour’s inaction to address severe mental health problems is ‘utterly staggering’

Labour ministers have been accused of dragging their heels when it comes to tackling mental health waiting times within the Cardiff and Vale University Health Board. There have been severe problems at the health board, with the number of people being referred for an appointment with mental health su

321 responses to the online consultation for RCT Tourism Strategy will be adopted by the Council

Following agreement by Cabinet, the Council will now adopt the proposed RCT Tourism Strategy to promote the County Borough to visitors – after the strategy was updated using feedback from a consultation earlier this year.  At the Cabinet meeting on Thursday, September 23, Members considered an Offic

Welsh Ambulance Service to host virtual Trust Board meeting

THE Welsh Ambulance Service Trust will host its popular virtual Trust Board event next week.On Thursday 30 September at 9.30am, the Trust’s executive and non-executive directors will welcome the public via Zoom and Facebook to talk about recent and future developments as well as offering the opportu

Licenced to kill: consultation on permits to control birds in Wales

Natural Resources Wales (NRW) is consulting on how it permits the killing of wild birds and the destruction of eggs and nests.

NHS waiting times hit new low in Wales

“All the wrong records keep getting broken”, according to the Senedd Conservatives as NHS Wales saw its worst ever A&E waiting times, the longest NHS waiting list on record, and the second slowest response times from ambulances.
 Data for August (released today) shows onl

Councils has neglected this part of Trecynon for not far short of a century?

There must be an election due next May and labour have started campaigning already to get your vote, AberdareOnline highlighted the problem of unadopted streets in Cynon Valley years ago but not all unadopted streets in Rhondda Cynon Taf will be done just a selective few.Many residents have complain

New Health Board Chair Appointed for Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB

Today (Tuesday September 21, 2021) the Minister for Health and Social Services, Eluned Morgan, announced that Emrys Elias will take up the position of Chair at Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB for 18 months, from October 01, 2021 when current Chair, Professor Marcus Longley, completes his four year term in pos

Welsh Ambulance Service seeks to re-enlist military support

THE Welsh Ambulance Service is seeking to re-enlist military support to assist with its Covid-19 effort.The Trust has submitted a request for additional support to Welsh Government under the Military Aid to the Civil Authorities (MACA) arrangement.If approved, it will be the third time that soldiers

Section 19 Flood Investigation Report – Storm Dennis (Cilfynydd)

The Council has published its third Section 19 Flood Investigation Report following Storm Dennis – with the latest detailed report focusing on the flooding, preparedness and response within the community of Cilfynydd.

MS Witnesses Young people develop transferrable skills through Forces Fitness

Joel James MS recently met with Sean Molino of Forces Fitness, a small business enterprise that applies military training to promote health and fitness.Sean, a former Welsh Guard, created Forces Fitness with the aim of inspiring people of all ages, to make positive lifestyle choices to improve the h

Welsh duo ‘so proud’ after Aerobic European Championships bow

Emily James and Mia Bernardo say they were “so proud” after taking part in their first Aerobic European Championships as seniors for Great Britain over the weekend. The talented duo, both from Aberdare, were competing as part of the senior group alongside Niamh Keane, Keleigh-Anne Blakey and Elizabe

Welsh Government to simplify planning and historic environment law as part of codes plan

The Welsh Government has launched a new programme to simplify planning and historic environment law, as part of a long-term plan to create Codes of Welsh law.A consolidation Bill is to bring together provisions from the "multiple, heavily amended" Acts that currently set out the main framework, the

Two Mountain Ash Comprehensive Pupils Climb Pen y Fan for charity.

Amy Macintosh and Alfie Price climbed Pen y Fan in August to raise money for Tenovus Cancer Care.  Together they have raised a fantastic £345 so far!

Another perfect example of Labour ministers in Cardiff Bay closing the stable door after the horse has bolted.

Responding to the Labour Government’s latest coronavirus briefing which included the announcement of a COVID passport in Wales, Welsh Conservative Senedd leader, Andrew RT Davies MS said: 
“This is another disappointing U-turn from Labour’s First Minister who told me in July he was agains

Supporting National Teaching Assistants' Day

 The Council is supporting National Teaching Assistants’ Day on Thursday, September 16, celebrating the valuable contribution they have made to education across Rhondda Cynon Taf throughout the pandemic.Our Teaching Assistants have also provided vital support to learners of all ages, as well as thei

Christmas shoppers warned not to get caught out with extra charges

With just 100 days to go until Christmas, HMRC is urging shoppers to ensure they don’t get caught out by unexpected charges when buying from overseas traders.Changes introduced on 1 January this year mean that some UK consumers buying presents for family and friends from EU businesses may now need t

Teaching Assistants: we couldn’t do without them

September 16 is a special day when we can mark their incredible contribution to our children’s education.


Top 100 UK law firm, Hugh James, has this week, completed the UK’s first-ever property deal using the revolutionary new Qualified Electronic Signature (QES), which was recently approved by HM Land Registry.The landmark transaction forms part of a national Land Registry pilot, to test the new QES pro

Labour and Plaid’s flawed ideas threaten Wales’ economic recovery

Labour and Plaid Cymru’s flawed ideas threaten Wales’ economic recovery post-pandemic, a Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister has warned. Last night, it emerged the Welsh Labour Government were in talks with Plaid Cymru over a potential co-operation agreement in the Senedd. A statement from the two pa

Labour administration in Cardiff Bay has failed to table a statement on its plans for NHS backlogs or social care, or the ongoing recovery in areas such as the Welsh economy and public services.

Labour 'bereft of ideas’ after the biggest crisis in the history of devolutionWelsh Conservatives have accused Labour ministers of being ‘bereft of ideas’ after the Welsh Government only tabled three items of business on the return to the Senedd following eight weeks of summer recess. After the bigg

Children in Wales Annual Child Poverty Survey Report Launched

Today Children in Wales launched the report on the findings from our 5th Annual Child and Family Poverty surveys.  The findings are bleak and unacceptable. The surveys sought to understand more about the current issues children, young people and families are facing, the impact this has and important

RCT Has Got a Brand-New Bag and its going to cost you the council taxpayer more in the future WHY?

Q         Will wear and tear of sacks be replaced? A          The Council cannot accept responsibility for the wear and tear of green waste sacks. When your bag is worn out you pay the council £3 for a replacementIf your bag is lost or stolen you pay the council £3 for a replacement Each bag is 2 ½ 

Voters in Wales have nothing to fear from these proposals. The only people who should be concerned are those who intend to commit election fraud.

A response to Welsh Government’s comments on UK Elections BillResponding to comments made by the Welsh Government in relation to the UK Elections Bill, Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Constitution, Darren Millar MS said: 
“This is nothing more than mischief making from the Welsh Go

COVID fund supports staff wellbeing throughout Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board

Throughout the COVID pandemic, the Health Board has been hugely grateful to receive lots of monetary donations from members of the public, many specifying that they would like their contributions to go towards supporting and improving staff wellbeing.CTM staff were asked for their preferences for ho

Aberdare Boundary changes

18. Merthyr Tydfil and Aberdare (Merthyr Tudful ac Aberdâr) 18.1 The Commission proposes that a county constituency be created from: 1.


The BHF urges Wales to take on its Declutter Challenge to help raise funds for life saving science.People in Wales keep unused household items for a year and a half (17 months) before getting rid of them - from clothing to tablets and TVs – unnecessarily cluttering up their homes, according to a new

Health board told by Welsh Government to hide cancer patients to fix waiting times targe

A bombshell ombudsman report has revealed the Welsh Government had instructed health boards to hide any patients referred to English hospitals so they were seen to report better in meeting their waiting time's target. The findings of an investigation by Public Services Ombudsman for Wales into a com

Changes to visiting across hospital in Cwm Taf Morgannwg UHB

Due to growing numbers of COVID-19 positive patients, both in our hospitals and our communities, Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board has taken the difficult decision to further restrict visiting to our hospitals.For the safety of our patients and staff, from 00:01 on Friday 10 September, membe

HMRC warns students of scams

 University students taking part-time jobs are at increased risk of falling victim to scams, HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is warning. Higher numbers of students going to university this year means more young people may choose to take on part-time work.

The British Government has announced a £5bn fund for which people in England can apply, yet anxious homeowners in Wales have been left in the dark

Commenting on the government's handling of the cladding crisis in Wales, Welsh Conservative housing spokesperson, Janet Finch Saunders MS said:  
“The British Government has announced a £5bn fund for which people in England can apply, yet anxious homeowners in Wales have been left in the

Anyone know why this work needs doing? Work at High Street Car Park in Aberdare town centre

The Council is giving advanced notice of upcoming works at High Street Car Park in Aberdare – which will operate with a limited capacity from September 27 while the Council delivers a significant improvement scheme. The car park, located next to St Elvan’s Church in the town centre, will benefit fro

Staffing Issues mean the Minor Injuries Unit at Ysbyty Cwm Cynon will be temporarily closed from today (September 8th) until further notice.

Is this not a good time to close the Minor Injuries Unit at Mountain Ash with all the traffic delays on the A465 Heads of the Valleys Road? If you have a minor injury that needs urgent treatment and you would normally go to Ysbyty Cwm Cynon, you should instead go to the A&E department at your ne

Thousands of teenagers missing out on Child Trust Fund cash

HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) is today urging young people to check if they have a hidden pot of gold – in the shape of a Child Trust Fund (CTF).   It is now one year since the first account holders started turning 18 and around 55,000 CTFs mature every month.

Welsh Government should adopt England’s new pet abduction law

The Welsh Government should ask the British Government to include Wales in plans to change the law to ensure that pet abduction is considered a dedicated criminal offence in England, according to the Welsh Conservatives. Currently, pet theft is considered a loss of property by the owner, but ministe

The Welsh Government has announced its services will increase by just 8.5% from September 13.

Transport for Wales’ planned increase to train services has been branded “pitiful and meagre” by the Welsh Conservatives. The Welsh Government-owned body has announced its services will increase by just 8.5% from September 13. Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Transport, Natasha Asghar MS, said

Have Your Say On How to Charge an Electric Vehicle in Terraced Street When You Cannot Park Outside Your Own Property?

The Council has launched its latest Climate Conversation - Let’s Talk Electric Vehicles, and we need YOU the public to get involved in the new Electric Vehicle Charging Strategy and have your say on how we can all play a part in the ‘Climate Emergency.’Already, hundreds of local residents and busine

'My Day, My Way' engagement website has launched today

The Council has launched a new website to engage with people with learning disabilities – providing a platform so they ca

Start of Term letter for Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun

Good afternoon,We look forward to welcoming all our pupils back to school tomorrow (Tuesday 07.09.21).An important letter from the Headteacher has been sent through ClassCharts to parents and guardians this afternoon.

Zero Waste Week: 6 – 10th September 2021

This week marks Zero Waste Week and Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is asking its residents to THINK before they BIN.Every time you place an item into your black bag waste, STOP and THINK about whether this is the best place to dispose of that item.RCT Council offers a wide range of recycling services at

New Parkinsons clinics in Rhondda, Merthyr and Mountain Ash

Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board’s Parkinsons Disease Nurse Specialist Service is expanding to provide clinics in the Rhondda, Merthyr and Mountain Ash in a drive to bring their support closer to patients’ homes.The service comprises a team of specialist nurses who support patients who have

Thriving creativity throughout Covid

Portal 2021, the new exhibition of Arts Graduates opens11 September at Llantarnam Grange, Cwmbran. Nineteen artists from universities across Wales and England have been included in Portal 2021, the annual exhibition of emerging arts practices, held at Llantarnam Grange, Cwmbran’s centre for Contempo

One in seven Welsh high street shops lie empty

A report by Wales’ Auditor General has found one-in-seven high street shops lie empty, prompting calls for action by the Welsh Labour Government. Reasons for the decline of the high street have been attributed, by Adrian Crompton, to changing consumer habits and expectations, advances in technology,

Labour urged to scrap ‘hare-brained’ tolls idea for A470 Pontypridd and M4 Newport

Welsh Conservatives have branded the Welsh Government’s hare-brained idea of putting tolls on the M4 and A470 as “utterly ridiculous” and urged them to go back to the drawing board. The Welsh Government is exploring the idea of charging motorists who drive older cars to use parts of the M4 and A470

Search begins for volunteers to become lifelines for families in their community

 Home-Start Cymru launches its #WhyDoI’ campaign today ·        Campaign aimed at increasing volunteers in Wales ·        Campaign video and images: 

Welsh Labour accused of being reckless after U-turn on controversial ozone machines

Labour ministers have halted their controversial plans to roll-out ozone disinfection machines into schools after serious concerns were raised by the Welsh Conservatives, parents and medical professionals. More than £3 million was going to be spent on the toxic chemical-spraying devices in a bid to

Regulating Coal Tip Safety in Wales 10 days to respond

Thanks to Clear South Wales Coal Tips for the reminder that you only have 10 days to respond  

One million children in poverty miss out on free school meals in the UK

Out of the 4 nations, Wales has the highest proportion of children missing out 
  • Alarming number of children in poverty still don’t qualify for free school meals (FSMs), despite a rise in the number eligible during the pandemic

HMRC can help with childcare costs in Wales as children head back to school

Families in Wales may be eligible for Tax-Free Childcare to help pay for breakfast and after school clubs as children go back to school. Families are eligible to save money on their childcare and benefit from a government top-up worth up to £2,000 every year, or up to £4,000 a year if a child is dis