A one-off £7.73m investment in Council priority areas for 2023/24 has been agreed – to be allocated across areas such as highways, structures, flood alleviation, parks and green spaces, town centres, leisure centres and accommodation for older people.
The investment is over and above the core funding allocations that are already committed in the Capital Programme for this financial year (2023/24). The funding is from an Investment/Infrastructure Reserve that is specifically held to support, maintain and enhance infrastructure across the County Borough.
The proposals were first considered and approved by Cabinet Members on Monday, September 18, before being approved at the meeting of Full Council on Wednesday, September 20.
The report to both meetings outlined the details of the proposed investment, which were agreed by Members. The funding allocations include:
- Highways and Roads – £1.5m.
- Structures – £2.5m.
- Making Better Use/Traffic Developments – £550,000.
- Flood Alleviation works – £200,000.
- Streetcare improvements (new bins in public spaces) – £50,000.
- Parks and Green Spaces – £300,000.
- Town Centre Enhancements – £100,000.
- Leisure Centres – £400,000.
- Extra Care and modernisation of accommodation for older people – £2m.
- Community Facilities Energy Grants – £130,000.
This extra funding supports the Council’s Corporate Plan, to invest in People, Places and Prosperity. Further information about how the funding will be used by the relevant Council services is included in Monday’s Cabinet report.
Councillor Andrew Morgan OBE, Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council and Cabinet Member for Infrastructure and Investment, said: “Elected Members have now agreed for the Council to make a £7.73m investment across several of its priority areas this year, in addition to our Capital Programme for 2023/24. This brings our total additional investment of this kind to £162m since October 2015, as we continue to support key services with extra resources.
“Huge financial challenges are faced across Local Government in these difficult times, but as a result of the prudent management of our resources we’re in a position to make extra capital investment in areas that will make a real difference to people – across services that our residents rely upon.
“The agreed £1.5m funding for Highways will expand our ongoing programme of resurfacing schemes, adding to the £5.2m allocation in the 2023/24 Capital Programme. Accelerated funding in this area over a number of years has seen the condition of our ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ roads considerably improve over the past decade. The £2.5m allocation for Structures will help to repair and maintain over 1,500 bridges, walls and culverts that the Council is responsible for – adding to the allocation of £7.9m already made for 2023/24.
“Further investment in flood alleviation is also welcomed, as we continue to deliver a programme of more than 100 targeted schemes – of which half have been completed since Storm Dennis with support from Welsh Government. I’m also pleased that local Parks and Green Spaces will receive new funding towards the ongoing investment in sports pitches and pavilions, along with repairs to parks infrastructure. New funding will also target upgrading Town Centre buildings, while also improving the townscape in our retail areas.
“Finally, funding towards the maintenance of our Leisure Centres will support areas such as building decoration, changing facilities, and sport surfaces – while £2m has been earmarked to continue our work with partners to modernise residential accommodation for older people, and deliver our commitment to provide more Extra Care facilities across Rhondda Cynon Taf communities.
“A separate report to the Cabinet and Full Council meetings provided an update on the Council’s Medium Term Financial Plan – highlighting the challenges that are faced and the anticipated shortfall in revenue funding for the years to come.
“The Council has an excellent track record of responding to the financial challenges faced over the past 10 years, and officers will continue to take a responsible approach to setting next year’s Budget – with much of that activity taking place this autumn, including our annual public budget consultation exercises.”
Posted on 28/09/2023