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AN EXTRA £2.7m for Parks, a sports pitch, multi-use games areas, flooding alleviation and road works this year in Rhondda Cynon Taf has taken another step forward.

Cabinet approved the extra £2.72m spend at its meeting on Tuesday, September 6 which the council has set aside to invest in infrastructure and the proposed investment will now go before full council for final approval on September 28.

It would see an extra £1m spent on highways and roads, £1m on flood alleviation works, £200,000 on parks and £200,000 on multi use games areas (MUGAs).

It would also see £175,000 spent on Darran Park Sports Pitch, £100,000 on unadopted roads and £50,000 on environmental improvements including bins and benches.

The spend on highways and roads would “continue to support the enhanced investment in the council’s largest asset, building on sustained increases in annual funding for highways capital maintenance over recent years” the cabinet report said.

It added that the unadopted roads funding would build on money previously allocated “to enable more streets to be made up to adoptable standards
and formally adopted as a council maintained asset.”

On the flood alleviation works investment, the report said:

“Funding will continue to support works on land drainage and flood alleviation schemes and will enable the council to progress with project business cases targeted at attracting external Welsh Government funding with this additional £1m being available for match funding.”

Turning to the environmental improvements spend, the report said it “will support improvements to include new bins and benches within parks and other open spaces.”

The parks investment will include refurbishment of sports pavilions, upgrading of sports pitches and repairs to parks infrastructure while the funding for MUGAs will go towards the provision of football and basketball and general community use.

The Darran Park Sports Pitch investment includes a funding application to turn it from a sand-filled astroturf into a 3G pitch.

This will be funded from the investment/infrastructure reserve which is a specific reserve to fund the cost of maintaining and enhancing infrastructure across RCT.

The cabinet report said there was £19.8m in this reserve as at March 31, 2022 so this spend can be fully funded from this reserve.

Councillor Andrew Morgan, leader of the council, said this release of funds is perhaps smaller than previous ones but that it does target areas of priority investment and has to be seen alongside other things like the cost of living support, community wardens, solar panels and energy efficiency.

He said most of the money for flood alleviation will be used to help lever millions of pounds worth of match funding from Welsh Government.

Cllr Morgan said:

“I think it’s a good continuation of the investment we’ve put in but hopefully we’ll be able to continue to do these investment reviews several times a year hopefully going forward but that does very much depend on what happens in terms of the economic outlook.”

Councillor Mark Norris, cabinet member for finance, added:

“I think it’s important our residents see that even though the council is being squeezed with all the current financial pressures, we are still striving to invest in making improvements to our communities in RCT.”

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