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Labour to ignore results of community poll - democracy is dead in RCT

November 14, 2012 11:01 PM

On 1st November a community poll was held in the Pontypridd Town Council area on the question of whether the paddling pool in Ynysangharad Park should be retained as part of plans to redevelop the Lido

On a cold, wet, dark evening, with polls only open between 4pm and 9pm and no polling cards issued or postal votes allowed 2228 people turned out to vote. Of those 2077 voted to retain the paddling pool. Only 151 were against.

At a meeting of the full Council on 14th November the Labour group decided to completely ignore the results of that poll and, in the words of Deputy Leader Paul Cannon, "press on with our plans."

RCT Welsh Liberal Democrat campaign manager Karen Roberts said the debate was "one of the most crass displays of arrogance I have seen in this chamber" and accused the administration of having no regard for the democratic process.

"In the absence of the Council leader Cllr Paul Cannon was left to take up the baton, but fell back on the lines we have heard so often in the past few weeks, stating that the poll was a cynical publicity stunt orchestrated by the Lib Dems and that the Council had to take into account the wider regeneration issue.

"This is a slap in the face for all those people who made their views very clearly felt at the ballot box, and who have every right to expect that a democratically elected Council would at least consider their views."

"The Mayor even refused to allow Llantwit Fardre Councillor Joel James to read out a brief statement on behalf of the SOS Pontypridd Paddling Pool group asking that the views of residents be taken on board. It was an absolute farce.

"The Council say that because they consulted with 800 people on the wider aspects of the regeneration and they said they were broadly in favour of it that gives them a mandate to press ahead with their plans, yet the views of over 2000 residents in reaction to a direct question are to be ignored."

Trallwn resident Amanda Jones has been one of the leading campaigners in the battle to save the much loved paddling pool and was incensed by the attitude in the Chamber from the controlling group.

"They keep insisting that this is politically motivated but I, like most of the people involved in this campaign, have no political affiliation. We just want to see the paddling pool kept, as we were promised before the election it would be.

"I was disgusted by the attitude of some of those at the Council meeting, especially those who represent wards in the Pontypridd town area. They obviously don't care at all about the opinions of people here.

"They kept saying that the Lido was for everyone in RCT and that if they kept the paddling pool as well the extra money to run that would come from taxpayers across the county. Yet using that argument why is it ok for money raised from taxpayers in Pontypridd to keep open a paddling pool alongside the leisure centre in Abercynon?


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