Last month, my fellow Cabinet Members and I agreed to invest over £23.6m in our highways and transportation network as part of our three year, £180m, 2018/19 capital programme.

Future-proofing Rhondda Cynon Taf’s highways and structures remains a key priority for this Council, and over £91.4m has already been invested in improving and repairing the County Borough’s Highways and Transportation Infrastructure over the last seven years, which, combined with the £23.6m for this coming year, brings the total investment to £115m in under a decade. 

I am sure that this significant investment, which will see over 180 individual projects completed, will be welcomed by residents on the back of the damage caused to some of our road surfaces after the recent spate of bad weather brought about by the "Beast from the East."

Investing to improve our extensive highways network remains an absolute priority for this administration and we are continuing to work our way through the 7% of roads that require urgent attention.

We are continuing to invest substantially in a number of other areas too, with our programme of play area improvements continuing into this financial year.  With over £2.3m already invested to improve the condition of play area facilities across the County Borough, the next round of investment will mean that over 100 such facilities will have benefited from our funding by the end of the financial year.  Crucially, this also means that well over half of the total play area refurbishments or upgrades in the whole of Wales will have taken place in Rhondda Cynon Taf, and this demonstrates that our ambition is being matched by action in ensuring that children have access to good quality active play equipment.

This coming year will also see £700,000 allocated to improving the offer of our parks and green spaces, which will allow us to tackle the backlog of maintenance work on the footways, fences and railings, gates and drainage systems.  We are committed to creating a healthy and active County Borough, and we have committed to invest in our parks and playing fields as key aspect of progressing this aim.

The investment will allow for us to begin improving the condition of our playing fields in future years, to the benefit both local sports clubs and our communities, and builds on the significant work we have undertaken over recent years to install state-of-the-art 3G pitch facilities across the County Borough.  With 9 of these facilities delivered so far, the conclusion of the programme over the next 12 months will mean that no resident should live more than 3 miles away from a community-use artificial surface.

Despite the hugely challenging financial climate, we are continuing to invest strategically to renew and upgrade our various community assets.

Posted on 04/04/2018