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Cross Party Co-operation the way forward for Ponty?

June 25, 2010 11:30 PM

Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillors have welcomed the commitment by recently elected MP Owen Smith to put politics aside and work with any other willing parties to try and push forward the regeneration of Pontypridd.

Cllr Mike Powell, speaking after a public meeting attended by many of the town's traders, said

"Many of the issues that were brought up have been of concern to some of us for a long time, but the Council have refused to take notice.

It was good to hear Mr Smith showing public support for some of the things my fellow Councillors and I have been trying to achieve, and I hope he has more luck than we did trying to convince his Labour colleagues in RCT to listen.

For instance, he expressed the opinion that the Town Centre streets should be an alcohol free zone. In June 2008 we put a motion to the Council suggesting just that. They said they would consider it. Two years on and they are still considering."

The meeting was attended by numerous traders from the town, many of whom were there to protest about the pedestrianisation scheme. The say that trade has fallen off considerably since its introduction and that it should be scrapped. Car parking charges also came under fire.

Cllr Powell says that is another issue where there is agreement, and again one which his fellow Welsh Liberal Democrats and himself had tried to address.

"It was good to hear our MP agreeing that the rise in car parking charges have been bad for business. He says he will be asking the Council to suspend them, something I wholeheartedly support him on.

However, this again is an issue we have brought to the attention of the Labour administration. Having opposed the increases in charges originally, we then put a motion forward asking for a three month suspension. It fell on deaf ears.

It remains to be seen whether a request from the Member of Parliament makes a difference."