Are you, the residents prepared for 5 more years of cuts and paying more for public services?
The Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council local elections are taking place on Thursday, May 5, 2022. Think before you vote because those elected will represent you for FIVE long years.How many of the last elected councillors depend on you voting for them to pay for their mortgage? Just like MPs and MSs, they rely on taxpayers' money to pay their bills. Many councillors don’t have another job but rely on your vote to fund their lifestyle. When you write to them, some don’t reply, don’t answer your questions and some residents get blocked for asking uncomfortable or embarrassing questions of the council on social media. The council and the councillors who are responsible for decisions made, but with no opposition to Labour, it’s just down to the 9 councillors, members of the cabinet who decide what happens in the next five years. Do we or will we have a council that is committed to the principles of openness and transparency in decision-making? I believe the first thing a councillor has to do when elected is signed a Non-Disclosure Order, an order that instructs them not to share information with the public. You have experienced a few severe storms in the last few years, many residents in RCT were flooded out, not once, but a few times. Since the flooding, thousands of pounds have now financed many problem areas, but the question residents should be asking is why has it taken years of the same flooding problems with nothing done previously to prevent the floods.Why has the flood work over the last two years not been achieved years before to save residents the flood damage they have suffered, the misery and depression some residents have experienced, the cost of repairs and the on-going cost as some residents cannot get house insurance?Now there is an election due, is that the reason for the flood prevention work being carried out? The residents wanted a Public Inquiry, but Labour - the ruling party in the council voted against a public inquiry. You have to ask the question, why? It is not challenging to see why Labour did not want an inquiry, to show the years of neglect brought about many of the flooding incidents and residents paid the price. Welsh Labour just don’t like Public Inquiries not even into the COVID Pandemic Welsh Labour governs a devolved nation, they implemented the Covid rules in Wales, but they will not take responsibility for the actions they imposed on the residents of Wales. Welsh Labour devolved when it suits them, but please do not try to blame us for anything we may have done wrong, by asking for a Wales Independent Public Inquiry into the Covid Pandemic. AberdareOnline has been pursuing government departments with Freedom of Information requests (FOI) over the publication of the location of dangerous Coal tips in RCT and other documentation related to the safety of coal tips, to date, not one government body has complied with the FOI request. The Information Commissioners' Office is following up for access to the information on two of our requests. Below is just part of the reply to one government body. AberdareOnline believes the residents of RCT have a right to know precisely where dangerous coal tips are sited and why 30,000 tonnes of waste was allowed to slip in heavy rain similar to Aberfan, something that should never be allowed to happen again. From the FOI office, “The public authority must take these steps within 35 calendar days of the date of this decision notice. Failure to comply may result in the Commissioner making written certification of this fact to the High Court pursuant to section 54 of FOIA and may be dealt with as a contempt of court.” The last time RCT was governed by another party other than Labour was Plaid Cymru. Plaid won control of the authority over Labour in 1999. Labour has had control of the RCT area since 2004, that’s 21 years of labour governing RCT.How is your town with labour in control for over 20 years? I can only describe Aberdare Town Aberdare is suffering, many shops are unoccupied generally the town is rundown. Not helping the town as one resident informed me… “…if I just want to pop into the Aberdare Market for some fruit and veg I have to pay for parking, but I can park for free in Tesco or Asda…” he went on, so how is this council helping local traders and residents to shop locally and help the town flourish? GP appointments, your Community Health Council (CHC), the health council based in Abercynon. The CHC is theoretically a watchdog for the way your health services are run within the Cwm Taf area.Within the CHC there are 8 councillors who sit on the CHC and another 9 people appointed by the Welsh Labour Government. Therefore we have a body of people plus staff looking out for us residents overseeing Cwm Taf University Health Board and GPs.With so many new developments in Cynon Valley, why is the health service downgrading GPs surgeries with fewer days open and shorter hours? Closing some GP surgeries and merging into one large surgery. Why is the CHC allowing this to happen? A resident complained this week that the new medical centre in Mountain Ash had just one doctor working in the medical centre, the centre, merged three GP surgeries. So where are the other GPs? Don’t forget that Labour-run your health services. When you cast your vote don’t forget our local representatives allowed the Minor Injury Unit at Mountain Ash Hospital to close. We have a Labour Police Commissioner whose job is to oversee the actions of the South Wales Police Force, Cynon Valley and Rhondda do not have one police station open to the public, we have fewer police patrolling our streets antisocial behaviour and other crime is increasing. Why do we need so many Chief officers and senior managers on high wages when the Police Commissioner cannot keep open one police station in a principal town like Aberdare? There appear to be more people managing the police service than policing it, the police always complain they need more funding from our already high council tax.Why do we need a Labour Police and crime Commissioner and a Deputy Police and Crime Commissioner plus staff when we have a Chief Constable, a Deputy Chief Constable and 4 Assistant Chief Constables? Don’t forget it’s your money that’s funding the Police Service, but do we get value for money? Public transport is the responsibility of Welsh Labour it is devolved Transport for Wales Valley lines, entirely owned and run by labour, as only about 6% of journeys are taken by train and the balance is by walking, cycling, bus and car. The car is the main mode of transport by far by over 90%.AberdareOnline has for many years asked the question why haven’t we got a direct bus route to Cardiff and Swansea our Labour MP and MS can't be bothered to sort this out Rhondda and Merthyr both have a direct bus route with a gold service Cynon Valley lose out again. Local bus services are non-existent after 6 PM and we have seen many cancellations due to driver shortages, there is little point in the Welsh Government asking people to use public transport when they cannot provide a service fit for purpose. Residents' complacency feeds the Labour Party, people are so fed up they can’t be bothered to vote. Labour has been in control of RCT and the individual councils before RCT was formed, Labour is well in control of RCT if you want to change or at least a sincere opposition to Labour dominance unfortunately only you can achieve this by voting You were content with the last 20 years of Labour running your council imposing cuts and paying more for council services? What about another 5 years of the same? Once a government is committed to the principle of silencing the voice of opposition, it has only one way to go, and that is down the path of increasingly controlling measures.