Whilst people are still reeling from the massive cuts in services and huge job losses that have already taken place in the council it seems that this could just be the tip of the iceberg.
News is finally out about the third round of brutal cuts to services across the borough.
The council’s cabinet (which still consists of nine members, some semiliterate, on huge salaries) will meet next week to finalise cuts to yet more front-line services. Officially no details have been released but it doesn’t take a rocket scientist (not that you’ll find anyone in the RCT cabinet of that intellect) to work out how many job losses, forced early retirements and loads of redundancies a shortfall of £30 million will cause.
A second attempt to cut free full-time education for young children will be considered. Although why the people responsible for ‘messing up’ the first attempt are still in a job, resulting in a hugely expensive legal battle, is a mystery to us.
Cuts to music services inside and outside schools seems likely. Meaning that Wales (or at least RCT) will no longer be considered the land of song.
Cutting funds for corporate service areas, including customer care and the town centre events programme, will also be considered.
Many parks and street cleansing services are to be scrapped.
We have heard several rumours that refuse collections will be reduced further, with some council officers even hinting at the whole service being sold off to private companies.
Further rumours hint at severe cuts to non-statutory social services and abolishing some services completely! Of course this will result in the HR department and Pensions department being cut as they will have far less staff to administer for. And so the cuts go on!
Many members of the public have suggested cutting the huge numbers of councillors we pay for but get no value from to just a handful and we understand from a source in cabinet that this is also being considered.
Councillor Andrew Morgan, leader of RCT Council, has cut his own hugely ‘over-the-top’ salary by a meagre 10%, stopped the Labour propaganda rag ‘Outlook’ from going straight to recycling bags and restricted a few top managers, but to be honest he needs to do a lot more!
In a bid to plug Rhondda Cynon Taf Council’s £70m budget gap, over the next four years, two phases of cuts have already been approved and started as staff at Pontypridd’s job centre will tell you as they see new claimants rise in number.
The council has already shut 14 libraries and 10 day centres. Adult education jobs have been cut and tutors taken back on, on less money. The Meals on Wheels service has been reduced.
The Muni Arts Centre in Pontypridd (the most profitable centre of it’s kind) has been given over to a private company in a deal that is in dire need of public scrutiny. The Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery has been axed, and the Coliseum Theatre in Aberdare and Park & Dare Theatre in Treorchy now face reduced programmes.
All 12 outdoor paddling pools in the county borough have been closed, which will no doubt help childhood obesity – not!
All streetlights will be switched off in non-residential areas overnight, hence increasing crime and putting more strain on the police force.
Leisure centres in Tonyrefail, Rhondda Fach, Hawthorn and Abercynon have had their opening hours reduced while other centres seem set for closure.