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Focusing resources on essential services (March 24)

Written by on 24th March 2020

In response to the latest public health instructions, the Council will scale back service delivery in a number of areas to focus resources on essential services.

The Council has announced the closure of a number of services and facilities this morning, following the announcements by both the Prime Minister and First Minister of Wales last night (Monday, August 23).

In line with the latest directive, the following service changes will be implemented with immediate effect as of this morning – Tuesday, March 24:

· All public facing offices will close, include the Council’s Civic HQ at Clydach Vale with staff working remotely from home;

· The remaining three Community Recycling Centres (CRCs) at Ty Glantaf, Ty Amgen and Dinas will close;

· The remaining six public conveniences will now be closed to the public. Duke Street toilets in Aberdare were closed earlier in the week following an act of vandalism;

· The Council’s Highways department will only be undertaking urgent repairs.

Meanwhile, the following services will continue to operate as usual until further notice:

· Parks across the County remain open for residents to use for their one hour of exercise per day, should they so wish. Social distancing guidelines will still apply in the interest of public safety. All Council-owned play areas will, however, remain closed and residents should not enter them;

· Refuse and recycling collections remain unaffected for the time being, however as staffing resources reduce, this decision will be reviewed on a weekly basis. (The collection of green and bulky household waste has already been suspended);

· Emergency childcare arrangements will continue for designated essential workers;

· Current arrangements for the provision of meals for those eligible for free school meals continue. Future arrangements will be communicated to parents in the coming days.

Leader of Rhondda Cynon Taf Council, Councillor Andrew Morgan, said: “Last night’s announcements were truly unprecedented peace time measures for our country, and they serve to highlight the severity of the national health emergency that we are all facing.

The Council is continuing to respond to the latest advice and guidance as the situation continues to escalate by the day, and I would urge all residents to abide by and adhere to the instructions issued last night by the UK and Welsh Governments.

We should be clear that this is not a national public bank holiday, but an unprecedented time in our generation that requires extraordinary measures to ensure that we and our loved ones remain safe.

In these unprecedented times, the Council will now turn its focus to delivery of essential frontline services only, redirecting staff from other areas of work, to support critical services. The area of priority will inevitable become social care.

We will continue to react as appropriate to any further developments in the instructions issued by Westminster and the Welsh Government.”

In the coming weeks it will become necessary for the Council to review the operation of its services in response to the impact caused by the Coronavirus. Residents are therefore encouraged to follow the Council’s social media channels or visit the dedicated webpages for the latest information.