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Communication with Council practically non-existent say retailers.

April 4, 2013 6:00 PM

A recent survey carried out by Welsh Liberal Democrats amongst town centre businesses in RCT reveals a worrying lack of communication between traders and the Council - at least as far as traders are concerned.

When asked how they would rate communication between themselves and the Council 41% (21 respondents) said it was non-existent and a further 46% (23) said it was poor.

The complaints of course are not new. Back in January 2012 Cllr Mike Powell questioned the Cabinet Member for Economic Development, Paul Cannon, as to why there had been no meetings of the Pontypridd Business Forum since 2009.

"In response he reeled off a list of ways in which the Council impart information to businesses - the website, newsletters, his updates on GTFM. However, none of these involve actual face to face communication and it is this that traders want to see.

"Many of the comments made in response to the survey show that there is a real dis-satisfaction with the fact that elected members are so reluctant to engage. Cabinet Members get paid almost £32,000 a year to carry out what is supposed to be a full time job, yet is seems they are all too often only there for the photo opportunities."

A substantial number of replies came from Tonypandy and included numerous complaints about the effect pedestrianisation has had on business. Many traders had opposed the idea when it was first suggested and say their fears have been justified, but that the Council did not listen then and won't listen now.

Campaign Manager Karen Roberts says

"There is a vast difference between what the Council state its relationship with traders is and what they obviously perceive it to be. The Council would have us believe they go out of their way to keep businesses informed of what is going on, and to some extent that may be true, they do put out information.

"Communication, however, should be two way, and those responsible within the Council - both Officers and Cabinet Members - should also be listening and taking on board opinions of those at the coal face.

"To quote George Bernard Shaw 'The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place.'"