Labour Councillors in the Rhondda were informed by the Director on Friday 15th June that paddling pools in Trealaw and Penygraig would not be opening this year. In response to a question from Welsh Liberal Democrat Cllr Mike Powell the group Director responsible stated that
“Myself and Councillor Bevan met the local members involved (Cllr Dennis Weeks, Cllr Ken Privett, Cllr Joy Rosser and Cllr Sylvia Jones) on Friday 15th June 2013 to inform them of the situation and the closures.”
The third pool which has not been opened is in Penrhys which is in Cllr Bevan’s own ward.
It begs the question – just who do these Councillors think they are there to represent? The answer is obvious – the Labour party and their own self-serving needs. Why didn’t they inform their constituents of what was happening? Were they too lazy, or too cowardly to face the backlash?
The reason given was that “it would have cost approximately £15-£16k on each site to undertake repair work in order to open them up. Unfortunately there was no budget available in Leisure Services to undertake this work.”
If the Councillors responsible thought this was a good enough reason then why not explain that residents? It is unlikely that these pools will reopen in subsequent seasons. The costs of repair will be even more once they are left for another year.
There seems to have been little action lately from protestors. The Facebook site set up for the purpose of initiating a campaign has been very quiet of late. I was removed from there, no reason was given but apparently someone thought I was being a bit too political. (This after I had brought the issue to the attention of the local press and ITV news and managed to get considerable publicity.) There is apparently a petition doing the rounds, but the season is half over.
It is I think a fair assumption that this will only be the start, and it is true that cut backs need to be made, but as has been asked why all in the same Mid Rhondda area? Those in the Cynon Valley all remain open. Of course there are none to close in Pontypridd. The only paddling pool there is in Ynysangharad Park, and that will be going when the Labour Council plough ahead with their hugely unpopular plans for the new Lido.
The main question is why can’t Labour Councillors and Cabinet Members be honest with the people and tell them exactly what their plans are? Or is that a little too much to expect?