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Drinking in Public
The areas where you will be fined £100 for drinking in public in Aberdare and Pontypridd

A ban on street drinking will come into force in Pontypridd and Aberdare town centres from September.

Rhondda Cynon Taf council is trying to crack down on alcohol related anti-social behaviour in its two largest towns through a public space protection order (PSPO) which will see offenders fined £100 if they get caught and do not give up their drink.

Cabinet approved the proposal in April which also applies to other intoxicating substances.

As well as banning drinking in the street in Aberdare and Pontypridd, the PSPO will also make the whole of RCT a Controlled Drinking Zone.

This will mean police and authorised council officers have the power to request that any person stops drinking and surrenders their alcohol if they are causing, or likely to cause, anti-social behaviour.

The council recently launched a campaign called “Calling Time on Street Drinking” to raise awareness of the changes which come into force on September 1.

Why has this been put in place?

The proposal was put forward following the 2016/17 crime perception survey as part of the RCT Community Safety Partnership.

Almost a third of participants labelled alcohol as the single-biggest contributor to crime and disorder in Aberdare and Pontypridd.

So where will street drinking in RCT’s two largest towns be banned?

Aberdare’s no drinking zone will include the town centre, the nearby Ynys development including its playing fields, Aberdare railway station and the Gadlys Pit car park

Pontypridd’s zone includes Ynysangharad War Memorial Park, Pontypridd railway station, Pontypridd bus station and an area of lower Graig.

How will it work?

Police and council officers will carry out patrols in these zones and will ask anyone who they catch drinking to hand it over or throw it away.

If they do not, the officers have the power to hand out a £100 fine.

The council will be holding several public engagement events in both town centres throughout August to give people more information about the PSPO.

The council says that the PSPO could be wavered for authorised public drinking at organised events within Aberdare and Pontypridd, including Christmas markets and the Big Welsh Bite event.

What the cabinet member has had to say

Councillor Rhys Lewis is the cabinet member for stronger communities, well-being and cultural services.

He said: “The council recently launched its Calling Time on Street Drinking campaign to promote the new rules and, with less than a month to go until the PSPO comes into force, it is focusing on a targeted exercise to ensure residents are fully-informed – particularly in Aberdare and Pontypridd where the greatest changes will take place.

“This includes more than 20 engagement events taking place in the two towns throughout August, where people can speak directly with officers about the new rules.

“There are also dedicated pages on the council’s website with important information – including answers to frequently answered questions and maps of where the ‘no alcohol zones’ will be.”


Mayor's Pledge To Young People

Two main priority areas for Rhondda Cynon Taf’s Mayor during his year in Office are the young and the elderly.

Mayor, Councillor Steve Powderhill, is just two months into his role and says he is using his time to focus on the things he feels passionately about.

Born, raised and educated in the Pontypridd area, and living there all of his life, Councillor Steve Powderhill cares greatly about his community and has been the elected County Borough Councillor for Treforest since 2012.

But since becoming Mayor earlier this year, he is also using his role to focus on communities across the County Borough, as well as helping to raise the profile of many charities and organisations.

Educated at Pontypridd Grammar School and Technical College, Rhydyfelin, Councillor Powderhill has been a professional photographer for over 35 years.

During his year as Mayor, he is keen to meet as many people across the County Borough as possible - and has already had a busy few months since his inauguration at the Council’s AGM in May.

He will be supporting many charities during his year of office, including Giving To Pink, Welsh Hearts and Velindre Hospital, as well as giving his support to children living with diabetes in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf, Councillor Steve Powderhill, said: “The role of Mayor is one of significant importance and one I take very seriously. I believe there are three vital functions of the Mayor’s role - civic, democratic and charitable.

“I have already conducted a Freedom of the County Borough ceremony in honour of MOD St Athan and all Royal Air Force Personnel, Past and Present, along with a very successful Armed Forces Day celebration and commemoration event.

“I have hosted the Rhondda Cynon Taf girls’ football squad at the Mayor’s Parlour in Pontypridd, and many more organisations, and have been invited to 100th birthday celebrations right across the County Borough.

“The civic and charitable elements of the role are two crucial aspects that I feel very passionately about. The young people of today are our future, but we also have to give thanks and recognise the contributions that our older generations have made to our communities.

“This is why I intend to visit many more schools, care homes, charities and local organisations during my term of Office.

“I have a great passion and pride for the work our young people carry out on a regular basis. These people are our future and we have a great wealth of talent amongst our young people.

“This talent just needs to be nurtured for the better of our County Borough in years to come. Our future will be safe in their hands, and as Mayor, I want to leave a legacy for the youth of today as they are our adults of tomorrow.”

Councillor Powderhill says it is intention not to host a Civic Service in 2018/19, but instead he wants to reach out to as many communities across Rhondda Cynon Taf as possible.

He also aims to support many charities along the way, including Macmillan Cancer Support and plans on hosting three Charity Golf Days - one in the Cynon Valley, one in Pontypridd and one in the Rhondda.

Supporting children who are living with diabetes is also something close to the heart of the Mayor as his own grandchild has Type I Diabetes.

The Mayor’s Chaplain for 2018/19 is Reverend Peter Lewis, of St Catherine’s Church, Pontypridd.

The role of Mayor is a far-reaching one, of which raising charity funds is just a part. As the First Citizen of the County Borough, Mayor, Councillor Steve Powderhill will also support a number of civic events, including the Council’s important support of The Festival of Remembrance, Remembrance Day, Christmas events, the Nos Galan Road Races and many more.


A former school building in Pontypridd will be demolished despite hundreds wanting to save it

The demolition of a popular former school building in Pontypridd has been approved despite hundreds of local people wanting to save it.

Rhondda Cynon Taf’s planning committee voted in favour of Rhondda Housing Association’s (RHA) plans to build eight flats on site of the woodworking block (Block F) of the former Coed y Lan Comprehensive School and the former caretaker’s house on Lanpark Road.

Block F is not listed in its own right but is curtilage listed as part of the former school site but planners said they were minded to refuse the application when it came before them in April.

Jon Wilks, speaking on behalf of Rhondda Housing Association, said the new building would replicate the existing building.

“It would be as close to the woodworking block as can viably be achieved,” he said.

He also revealed that prospective residents of a nearby development at Block C have not yet been able to move in with the 18 homes being vacant since January.

Mr Wilks also said that the limited heritage value does not warrant the level of investment needed to restore it.

“Rhondda Housing have worked hard to develop a scheme that responds to concerns,” he said. “They are confident it is the best possible solution.”

Mr Wilks said that RHA would be prepared to adhere to a condition which require the building to be a replacement of the current one.

But Louise Jones, a resident of Lanpark Road, collected nearly 300 signatures from people opposing the demolition.

She said the building has “significant importance in maintaining the character of the local area.”

Mrs Jones also said that the building provides screening for residents from the modern development behind it.

“Not one resident wanted the building demolished,” she said. “The only argument against restoration is one of cost.

“Rhondda Housing does not want to spend the money to restore it. The building can be saved and restored.

“It is not democratic or reasonable to ignore the wishes of local people.”

Her husband Christopher Jones also addressed committee.

He said the area had a “distinct and unique architectural heritage” and that the new building would be a pale imitation.

“We’ve already lost many important buildings in Pontypridd,” he said.

“We should have a better understanding of the need to retain these buildings. It makes sense to reuse this building.

“Rhondda Housing have shown contempt for residents. Rhondda Housing is trying it on to push for a cheaper option.”

Councillor Heledd Fychan, who represents Pontypridd Town ward, said the fact that residents can’t move in is not the fault of current residents.

“It would be a grave mistake to allow demolition” she said.

“The building has stood for over a century. It is an important part of the historic landscape.

“Cost should not be the driving force. We should be creating social housing in this historic building.”

Councillor Pauline Jarman said: “We are far too keen to demolish our history rather than seeking to retain it.

“It would be a poor decision to consign this particular building to demolition. It has far too much history.”

Speaking about the residents who have not been able to move in to the other building she said: “This council can’t be held responsible for Rhondda Housing Association making commitments and then not delivering. That is pretty shocking.

“I can’t in all justification put my hand up to have this building demolished.”

Six councillors voted in favour of the plans and three voted against.


Nos Galan 2018
Online registration for the 2018 Nos Galan Road Races opens at 10am on Monday, September 10th. Places sell out quickly so register early to guarantee your place and join us in celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the world renowned road races!
Keep watching this space for details of Forthcoming Competitions.

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