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Christopher's Cuts.

RCT council proposes to cut (a) Day centres (b) Meals on wheels (c) Schools for toddlers...

Labour - Cuts for the vulnerable and pay increases for executives.

Christopher and his cronies are a bunch of hypocrites of the first order. They tell us that the coffers are empty, but they pay themselves obscene amounts of loot. Wait until the next round of expenses are published by the CV Leader, (if they'll publish them that is), and then listen to Christopher bleating about how skint we are.

On that basis, RCT is awash with money, and I won't listen to this hypocrite and the rest of the specimens telling us that there's no money for essential services. There's plenty of money in the pot, except that Christopher and his gang are milking it dry to line their own pockets.

The government is fond of pointing out African dictatorships for their corruption and graft, and how their people are kept in abject poverty whilst the elite ride around in limousines and fly private jets. This has a familiar ring to it in RCT.

Cut essential services, but pay themselves more than those who work could possibly earn. There's a foul smell about this whole business of cuts in RCT, and it's emanating from the council chamber.

get in the real world, this isn't an RCT thing, this is the system that every local council in the United Kingdom operates under, rightly or wrongly. Continuing this personal vendetta against Councillor Christopher is tiring.

Regardless of councillor expenses, its small change given the waste of money in Cardiff Bay and Cathays Park. If you want to fight the fight, direct your rants towards central government in Cardiff that waste 10's of millions on duplicated services and mis-guided minsters.

The ridiculous waste of money in Health, Education and Social services in this country will be the downfall of front line services that everyone needs, not just the few who dip in and out of the three mentioned areas above.

For once, I couldn't agree with you more, Tinky, about the waste in Cardiff Bay. The whole shebang throughout the country is one big scam. However, I only look at the local scene, and when I hear councillors telling us how skint we are in RCT, and people have to be thrown out of work because of it, yet councillors and officials are paying themselves obscene amounts of money that they clearly do not earn or deserve, then I see them as hypocrites.

And if that applies throughout the country, then so be it. But don't tell us that drastic cuts have to be made to jobs and services whilst continuing to rake in salaries and allowances on that scale because it doesn't wash with me or the electorate.

As for getting into the real world, I'd suggest that you yourself, take a long hard look at what people in RCT have to live on, and then tell them that there's justification for what Christopher and all the rest of the brigade are paying themselves. I know what's being said on the streets, so go out there and listen to it yourself, because there's a lot of disgruntled people complaining about this issue.

Sure, the Labour Group leader is not alone in this, so it's not just him we grouse about when the list of shame comes around about what they pay themselves. There's no vendetta involved, because he's not alone in this. I'm stating the facts, and you clearly don't like to hear them. Come on, justify to us all what they pay themselves. We're all listening.

We're all in it together? Yeah, right we are.

I have to say that the "wages" paid to councillors is set by an independent panel that a few years ago cut cabinet members pay by 10% and back bench councillors pay by 5%.

If every councillor was paid nothing it's about £1million at best saved so where would the other £60 odd million come from?

Let's face the facts that no matter what party was in charge in RCT there would have to be major cuts to services as the assembly is having its money restricted from Westminster

I may say cut social services and day centres as I don't use them, others will say cut the library as we can get info on the net, maybe stop repairing roads those that don't drive will say, close a sports centre as I don't go there etc etc

I'm sure there will be hundreds if different views on what to cut and no one has the right answer it's just I hope they cut as fairly as possible across the board

Aroundtown, you're absolutely right of course, but my main concern is that when we are all supposed to be in this mess together, and the public see what our politicians, local and national, are being paid whilst cutting the wages of workers, sacking them, and taking away their rights, then we all have to ask how they can ever justify these payments.

I'm fully aware of how the allowances of councillors are set by an independent panel, though I often wonder how independent it really is, when, once again, the panel never suggests that they take a cut in their payments in order to show some kind of solidarity with the rest of us who are suffering these cuts. No, it's always an increase, small though it may be sometimes, but an increase all the same.

I'm old enough to remember when councillors were not paid at all. They did it out of concern for their communities. At least, in theory. Give them expenses by all means, but when I see the amount of money claimed by them, when the constituents they are supposed to represent are struggling to keep themselves and their families fed, clothed, and warm, I have to wonder whose interests they are really serving, those of their constituents', or their own?

Despite what a certain poster on here has said about my conducting a vendetta aqainst a particular councillor, my concern is not with him alone, but with all of them who announce severe cuts to our services, and the sacking and humiliation of council workers, whilst claiming (legitimately, but morally questionable) allowances way beyond what any of us can earn in this area.

They thus lose any credibility in announcing these cuts if they can top up their own bank accounts like that. That's why I, and many like me, believe that this council, and all the others out there, are not skint at all, but are awash with money.

With that in mind, I'm still waiting to hear how these payments can be justified in the light of how the rest of us have to live with rising living costs from food to fuel, taxes, and God knows what else they've got lined up for us.

Finally, this thread is wrongly titled. These are not Christopher's cuts. I accept that they are being made, but it's just unfortunate that he has to announce them. And when they bite, and services are cut drastically, the next time the list of councillors' claims are published, we'll all have the right to ask how they can ever justify those payments.

The journalist Christopher Hitchings, now sadly deceased, once described the salaries of the top executives in our public services, the banks, and industries, along with politicians, as "legalised corruption."

Did he have a point perhaps?

“Regardless of councillor expenses, its small change given the waste of money in Cardiff Bay and Cathays Park. If you want to fight the fight, direct your rants towards central government in Cardiff that waste 10's of millions on duplicated services and mis-guided minsters.”

You are right another Labour bunch of over paid public servants
But don’t stop at Cardiff Bay there are public offices run by the Assembly all over Wales all having to be paid for out of the one pot of money, your money never happened until they formed the Welsh Assembly


Little wonder we are having cuts in public services

As for Christopher's bunch just take the Pontypridd Paddling Pool so who is telling lies?

As I keep saying keep-voting Labour you know it makes sense.

aroundtown, you are absolutely right, if they were paid nothing the budget gap would be 59m instead of 60m. Wales is in a right mess and its not the fault of elected councillors, its sits firmly at central government who set the budgets. Why the hell do we give free prescriptions as one example.

Councillors may have in the past represented the communities for free, but I suspect that was a long time before their roles were increased to attend scrutiny, partnership boards etc.

continually pelting the councillors will do nothing for the mess every LA is in Wales. Perhaps we should all start picking up litter and paying for our medicine as a start

You are evidently incorrect, Labours Tinky. The cut in the Wales block grant is only 2%. It's the Welsh government who decides where the cuts fall, and have decided to cut council spending by considerably more than 2%. It's a deal struck between the LibDems and Labour in the Senedd. Meanwhile the Labour party councillors in RCT are squandering millions on vanity sculptures, executive pay, pubic relations guff and luxury cars, while closing day centres for pensioners.

Thank you Valley Boy for that information. It confirms my earlier post of what a bunch of self seeking bunglers we've got running this council of ours, with the council leader weeping crocodile tears for the drastic cuts they're being forced to make, whilst living the life of Reilly at our expense.

So Tinky, it that a vendetta, or as Valley Boy has pointed out, is it the truth?

Its been a 6 year vendetta against the man. If you can blame him for anything you have.

As ive said in the past if you can do a better job put yourself up for election!

Tinky, if the heat in the kitchen is too much, then you get out of it. This is still a democracy we live in, which means that we are entitled, no duty bound, to criticise those who seek power over the rest of us. Which means that elected politicians, councillors, AM's or MP's are there to serve and answer to us, not the other way about. I don't think you quite understand that yet.

When you stand for election, you stick your head over the parapet, and you must expect to get it shot off. That is the nature of the political arena. It's a dirty game; the dirtiest there is, full of back stabbers and those ready and willing to betray anyone for their own advancement. Some more than others of course, but they're all tainted to some degree.

Look at Westminster if you want proof of that. Vendetta? you ain't seen anything until you've studied politics and human nature for as long as I have.

As I said, get real, and go out onto the streets and listen to what people are saying about a whole list of things that have made our society the most unequal and divisive in the whole of Europe.

Because you obviously have no words that can justify the cuts to our services, and then the obscene payments made to council executives and councillors themselves, you rant about vendettas, when what I'm talking about covers all councils and politicians.

I'm still waiting for your answer on that score. So don't attack me personally, attack my argument, which is what I've done in the face of these cuts. And if I'm wrong, then I'll freely admit to it. I've often been wrong, and proven to be so, so it's no big deal. But I'm perfectly willing to concede defeat in the light of superior facts, which so far you've failed to supply.

One last thing, I've not blamed Christopher for these cuts. If you'd taken the trouble to read my post properly instead of seeing only what you wanted to see, you'd have realised that. I pointed out that the very title of the thread was wrong because they are not Christopher's cuts at all, but cuts being forced upon the council by the Welsh Assembly and Westminster.

My whole point is that as they make these cuts, they are reluctant to make any sacrifices themselves. And that is also the issue on the streets.

“Its been a 6 year vendetta against the man. If you can blame him for anything you have.”

I would suggest tinky you contact your friend and ask him how long he has had had a vendetta against me forget the 6 years try 20 years the man holds a big grudge if you dare to question him he just cant take criticism.

Don’t forget councilors get well paid for what they do no one is forcing them to take on the responsibilities and the higher up the political ladder you go the more responsibility and money you have.

Having known and spoken to a council leader of another South Wales Council some time ago I know about some of the perks councilors get.

As I said to Alun Williams sec of the local labour party some bad apples in the labour party

The public can vote for whom they want in power if they want the labour party so be it but power comes with responsibilities

Y ddraenen, Councillor Christopher is no friend of mine, but what I cannot stand is the faceless bullies on this forum, who do not have the gumption to stand for public office themselves. `If you cant stand the heat', are you real, the only heat you experience is the overheating cpu of your computer that you hide behind.

You've constantly bullied a man who has represented his community whilst fighting two bouts of cancer, and he still stands the heat to continue to do his level best.

Regardless where you live in Britain, you will complain about the elected members because your life has turned out to be so unfulfilling and you cannot get rid of the two chips on your shoulder.

Listen to what the man in the street is saying!. How the hell do you know, sat behind your monitor. Why not put yourself up against Anthony Christopher in the next elections, with your manifesto for a better cynon valley and see who the man in the street votes for.

But that would be forceful action wouldn't it, which you and your cronies have no stomach for.

Keep typing away, im sure you'll make a difference through your faceless revelution.

Change the record

If you go into public life you should be prepared to answer the public and that public is not always going to agree with you. In a democracy you should take criticism on the chin.

Politics is a dirty game one of the dirtiest and has always been that way, It's just that the public are more informed these days.

Just an example of how dirty politics can be is the present day furore over the spying allegations against who???

Our "FRIENDS" the Americans. with friends like that you certainly don't need enemies.

They have been spying on just about everyone, Nice people eh! But there

"That Politics Aint It"

Tinky, and you have to ask the question WHY don’t forget councillors don’t work for nothing and there’s no one forced to become a councillor and its part time work not bad for basic £13,000.

I said, “You contact your friend” not Y ddraenen

That’s the problem people only see what they want not what’s written.

You say, “Listen to what the man in the street is saying”

Keep your eye on Twitter and listen to people in the street I do

yes they are all probably armchair conspiracy theorists like the rest of you. As I've said when you lot have the courage to stand for public office and dedicate your time to do it and endure the critiscm and abuse, then people can take you seriously. Until then youre just a bunch of bitter individual whos lives haven't turned out how you'd hope, hiding behind your computers hoping to change the world

Tinky, from looking back at you posts it would appear you don’t like any condemnation of the Labour run administration in RCT as you said on August 1 2012
“From what I know of Mr Christopher, he is a progressive straight talking man who has the regeneration of this valley firmly on his agenda.”

Below taken from local labour propaganda sheet before elections

“Weekly refuse collections & services protected by Labour”
“Labour controlled Rhondda Cynon Taf Council is the only local authority in Wales not to adopt a fortnightly refuse collection cycle. If re-elected on May 3rd 2012 Labour candidates in every community across RCT have confirmed that our weekly refuse collection remains protected no matter now harsh the cuts from the CONDEM government”

“The Labour Leadership has already demonstrated that it will work to protect and stand-up for Services in Rhondda Cynon Taf against the cuts from Cameron & Clegg. If re-elected on May 3rd Labour Councillors have committed once more to protect frontline services and avoid the need for any compulsory redundancies.”

Below taken from the RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats website
Outline of proposed changes
The report which went to Cabinet on 21st October outlined several proposed cuts in services, and indicated the Council's preferred options in each case. The Council argue that they currently provide more than they legally have to with regard to these.
The areas of service affected are:
School admission - cut back in nursery education from full time provision to part time.
Meals on wheels - cut back from a 7 day a week delivery
Libraries - closure of several libraries across the county.
Youth provision - cut back in service provision including removal of transport from E3.
Day centres - closure of several day centres across RCT.

You say “hiding behind your computers hoping to change the world”

No Tinky, just keeping the public informed of what’s going on and there are a few people who just don’t like the truth but I think a few are waking up judging by the protest last week at RCTC HQ

So all of a sudden Christopher and the rest of his minions are paragons of virtue. Well that's news to a lot of people.

I have no political bias, as far as I can see there is not a single party that has nothing but their own interests at heart. What you clearly do not get from my posts is a dislike for faceless bullies who do not have the courage to practice what they preach.

Its easy to change your virtual world from your keyboard, its when its required in the real world, you and your cronies are no-where to be seen.

You are no better than the schoolyard bullies who exploit social media to abuse people by.

Don't make us laugh, Tinky. The only bullying going on in RCT is the likes of Christopher himself and his gang of self interested minions. Are you seriously telling us that he entered the council in order to serve his community? And not just him, but all the rest of them who are quick to fill in claims forms for expenses and allowances to feather their own nests, whilst weeping crocodile tears as they tell us about the drastic cuts that have to be made.

We're all in it together eh? Yeah, of course we are. Still, Groucho Marx had a few words of wisdom for this lot of incumbents: "The secret of life is sincerity; once you can fake that you've got it made."

Or how about this little gem that I used to think of quite often when listening to Tony Blair: "Those are my principles; if you don't like 'em I got others."

Sound familiar? When I see the likes of Christopher and all the rest of his minions spouting their false concern for the people for the cuts they have to make, but flatly refusing to make sacrifices themselves to show their sincerity in what they believe (if they believe anything that is not in line with their own self interest that is), then doubts are sown in my mind.

just answer me this: what have you actually done to contribute in a positive manner to the community of the cynon valley and I mean tangible work, not just complaining about our elected members from behind your computer screen.

And I wouldn't even consider I could make you laugh as you appear so bitter and twisted you are probably incapable of that particular human emotion.

You're not even worth answering any more. In fact, you don't even have the privilege of being wrong.

Oh, and by the way, back in my younger days I was a union shop steward for many years. I fought for the rights and conditions of my fellow workers. I didn't claim a penny for that either, unlike your precious Christopher and his ilk, who enjoy a living standard on the back of it that most people around here can only dream about, whilst continuing to tell us how sorry they are for the cuts being made, and how they share the pain of it all. Hypocrisy of the first order.

As I said, I'd have no quarrel with them if they genuinely showed their commitment and actually shared in the problems that people face on a daily basis. But no, they go on milking the system for all they can get. My last words on the subject by the way. I leave you to rant further by defending the indefensible.

so the answer to my question is NOTHING.

Thank you

Degree or no degree, I know this might be a bit beyond you, Tinky, but ad hominem the Greeks called it: You can't counter the argument so you attack the person instead. You have not come up with an argument to justify why councillors and council officers pay themselves such obscene amounts of money in allowances and salaries in times of extreme austerity for the rest of us.

All you've done is attack those of us who can offer arguments why they should not be paid such amounts. You've just asked rhetorical questions like what we may or may not have done for the community.

Not all of us want to wield power over our fellow human beings, or at least use that as an excuse to enrich themselves and give themselves kudos they would not normally have, because they lack the talent for anything else.

It still hasn't sunk into with you that when you put yourself up for election as a politician, or union shop steward as I did once, you are wide open to being criticised and vilified. It goes with the territory, and you have to accept it. No good bleating about it afterwards if somebody calls you names.

That's the situation we're in, but in your situation I'd sit down and have a long, hard think about what you can offer by way of the justification I've asked of you. So far you've failed miserably.

Unfortunately corruption is happening in all walks of life, and mainly higher up the tree. I work for a University, and I found out last week our vice chancellor has had a 13% pay increase, so his salary is now around £250,000 so I have been told. The pay increases of people like this are decided by a local board, just like that of Caerphilly council which has been in the news in recent months. It's very unfair and corrupt as the money comes from the same source as ordinary members of staff. We are all in this together, my arse!

Once again it is you that has missed the point, I do not have the time to argue against something which is nationwide and voted in in a democratic process and please do not stoop to patronise me with your small snippets of intellect. My argue to you is the constant personal vilification you have towards Anthony Christopher, which I don't recall being targeted towards other members including your own ward members.

I have no time for cowards, who bully using social media and that is exactly what you and your cronies are. The system is embedded in British history for elected officers to receive re-numeration and that is not going to change. Of course you could get off your backside and stand for election and then refuse to take a penny. Then that might start a process, but of course you do not have the gumption to do such a thing.

If this country is not to your liking perhaps you should consider re-location bully boy

Second Phase of Tough Choices

As a result of the UK Government’s austerity measures, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council will consider a second phase of tough service reductions in the New Year.

If agreed by Cabinet, the Council will begin consulting on the second phase of services, which will include reductions in leisure services across the County Borough.

The proposals, set to be considered by Cabinet on January 8, 2014, will also include options to reduce heritage and cultural services, street lighting, supported bus routes and also include proposed changes to adult social care charging arrangements.

These potential options for Cabinet to consider consulting upon would deliver savings of £3.7m in a full year and would form part of the Council’s Medium Term Financial Planning to bridge the £70m budget gap it faces over the next four years.

Commenting on the second phase proposals, County Borough Councillor Paul Cannon QPM, Deputy Leader of the Council said: “We have made clear that further phases of very tough choices would be necessary in order for the Council to deal with the effects of the UK Government’s austerity measures.

“The impacts of these measures are now very clearly being demonstrated locally. The Welsh Government has done its utmost to protect Wales from the decisions of the UK Government, but when their funding has been cut by £1.7Billion, it is inevitable that our local public services - just as they have already been in England - are to be severely affected.

“Just as the Thatcher Government decimated our nationalised industries, this Government is set to have a similar effect on our public services.

“I would stress that this second phase of proposals are just that - proposals, and if deemed appropriate by Cabinet, they will be fully consulted on before any final decisions are made.

“There is no escape from tough decisions in this difficult financial climate, but it must be remembered that even with these potential changes these services would still compare favourably across Wales.

“This position demonstrates how Councillors have, in very different times, prioritised frontline services and how now, when faced with making tough decisions to bridge a budget gap of £70m, are seeking to ensure the choices we may make still offers a good range and level of provision for our residents.

“The Council has made over £60m of efficiency savings in the last eight years, and to ensure that we protect our frontline services as far as is practicably possible, we will make an additional £4m in the next financial year.

“This will continue to be achieved by reviewing all of our back office functions to ensure significant savings are achieved with no effect on the services we provide to the public.

“Our critics will continue, in a very unconstructive manner, to suggest reductions in areas such as advertising or a reduction in senior management costs, though they forget we recently delivered over £100K in savings in senior management - but the opposition disagreed with our action.

“The fact is all areas of spending are being reviewed in addition to what has been considered as part of Phase One and the new proposed services changes to be considered in January.

“These kinds of choices are ones we have to consider seriously as we seek to bridge the £70m budget gap the Council faces.

“The current financial climate for the public sector has been set by the UK Government, and unfortunately this is not the end of the difficult choices the Council will need to consider as a consequence of their austerity measures.”

The Council’s Cabinet will also consider the detail of the consultation on its Phase One proposals and associated Equality Impact Assessments at the same meeting in January before reaching a decision on those matters.

Summary of Phase Two Proposals as follows:

Proposed Changes to Adult Social Care Charges - Rhondda Cynon Taf currently provides a number of areas with charging arrangements more generous than the levels stipulated by Welsh Government and below the average in Wales.

With this in mind the following changes are proposed which would result in the generation of £1.134m additional income:

Disability Related Expenditure (DRE) Disregard – the DRE is a deduction for additional costs which a disabled person, who pays an assessed charge towards the cost of their non-residential care may incur due to their disability.

There is no statutory requirement to apply any disregard and Rhondda Cynon Taf’s current level of 40% is relatively high and as it is applied universally.

It is proposed that the level of disregard be reduced to 5% resulting in £790K being generated in additional income per year.

Hourly / Daily Charges for Care – Currently non-residential care service users are charged £12.05 per hour for domiciliary care and £13.40 per visit for day services. The cost to the Council of providing these services is £17.50 per hour for domiciliary care and £77.37 per day services visit.

It is proposed that the hourly charge is increased to £17 per hour and that the day rate for day services is increased to £17 per visit.

Service users will be subject to a means tested financial assessment to asses their ability to pay and will pay a maximum of £50 per week. This proposal would generate additional income of £134K per year.

Charging for Tier 1 Telecare Services – It is proposed to increase the charge of Tier 1 Telecare Services to £2.35 per week which reflects the cost to the Council of providing the service. This proposal would generate additional income of £118K per year. Other Council’s generally charge above this rate.

Introduce a More Consistent Approach to Charging for Elderly and Mentally Infirm (EMI) Residential Care – The Council undertakes the assessment of a clients ability to pay and charges the client accordingly with the maximum charge for externally provided EMI Residential Care at £533 per week and for Council run homes at £503 per week.

It is proposed that charges to EMI residents in Council run care homes be increased to the same level as for those in externally run homes. This proposal would generate additional income of £60K per year.

Introduce Consistent Approach to Respite Charging – It is proposed that the Council introduces a consistent and more equitable model for charging respite care services based on a financial assessment of a service user’s ability to pay in line with the relevant guidance.

Currently the charging policy is not consistent in its treatment of service users receiving respite care across external and in-house care home providers. This proposal would generate additional income of £32K per year.

Proposed Changes to the Heritage Service - The service is currently predominantly centred around two venues – the Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery and the Rhondda Heritage Park. Other elements include a Service Level Agreement with Pontypridd Town Council for heritage services in association with the Pontypridd Museum.

There is no statutory basis to any part of the service. It is proposed that Cynon Valley Museum closes and the Service Level Agreement with Pontypridd Town Council is ended. There will also be a restructure of the Heritage Service and the Rhondda Heritage Park.

This proposal would save £350K per year.

Proposed Changes to the Arts and Cultural Services - The service currently operates three theatres – the Park and Dare (Treorchy), the Muni (Pontypridd) and the Coliseum (Aberdare). The service also contributes to arts development and collaborates with other authorities through the “ArtsConnect” initiative.

There is no statutory basis to the service. It is proposed that the Muni is closed and that a balanced but reduced programme centred around the two remaining theatres is put in place alongside the development of greater outreach activity.

This proposal would save £400K per year.

Proposed Changes to Street Lighting Provision – The Council currently operates and maintains 28,500 lights in residential areas and non-residential areas There is no statutory basis for the provision of street lighting.

The proposal suggests the part night switch off of all lights in non-residential areas, as well the part night switch off of every other streetlight in residential areas. This proposal would save £300K per year.

Proposed Changes to Supported Bus Routes – There are a number of routes across Rhondda Cynon Taf which are not commercially viable and are therefore supported by the Council.

The current annual budget in place to support such routes is £841K. In order to be able to reduce this budget by £400K to £441K a comprehensive impact assessment has been used to prioritise routes which would continue to be supported.

The identified routes may change as they could in the future be affected by external factors such as commercial decisions made by bus operators and Welsh Government funding levels. This proposal would save £400K.

Proposed Changes to Amend the Provision of Paddling Pools – The Council currently operates 12 paddling pools which are open over the 6 week summer holiday period. To ensure their continued operation approximately £100K would need to be spent on maintenance.

Consequently it is proposed that all paddling pools are closed. This proposal would save £181K.

Proposals to Amend the Leisure Service – The Council currently operates eight leisure centres with two in Rhondda, two in Cynon and four in Taff. There are also three stand alone ‘open access’ swimming pools.

There is no statutory requirement to provide leisure facilities. It is proposed that the three core centres of Rhondda Sports Centre, Michael Sobell Sports Centre and Aberdare Swimming Pool and Llantrisant Leisure Centre are retained alongside four satellite centres (Rhondda Fach Sports Centre, Abercynon Sports Centre, Tonyrefail Sports Centre and Hawthorn Leisure Centre) which will have reduced opening hours.

This reconfiguration of Leisure Services proposes the closure of Bronwydd Pool, Llantwit Fardre Leisure Centre and Hawthorn Swimming Pool. The Council will seek to transfer Hawthorn Swimming Pool to the neighbouring secondary school if possible.

This option attempts to balance retaining the best used facilities whilst also maintaining an equitable spread of the centres. This proposal would save £1.2m.

I read somewhere on the Internet a quote from Winston Churchill that I believe to be highly relevant to this issue: During World War 2 Churchill was asked by his Defence Minister to cut spending on the arts in order to further fund the war effort. Churchill's reply was, "In that case, what are we fighting for?"

In view of the aesthetic vacuum that we'll soon be living in as a result of the cuts being made to our lives by this cultureless council of ours, I feel that Churchill's words are as relevant now as they were then.

Art and culture are not luxuries; they are essential parts of our lives, and most importantly in our schools, where children are allowed to express themselves through them.

No good sounding off about how this council, like all others, are having the cuts forced upon them, when the List of Shame will appear in the local paper, and we'll see from that how much they really care and are willing to share in the hard times we all must suffer.

Wait until you see what they're paying themselves, and then demand to know how they can justify the cuts.

“Look at Cwmaman Institute, reborn by a team of local enthusiasts and more financially sound as the productions that go on meet the people in the demographic.

“The three theatres should be more community based and organised. Whilst community and not for profit groups get a protected rate, the cost of hire for one evening can reach £500.