Friday, October 28, 2005

 

Review of Sunken Gardens plans needed

We believe in the future of the Aberavon Seafront
The regeneration work currently being done on the Seafront to improve its appearance and attract more tourists to the area is to be applauded. The Seafront is key to the economic success of the local area and residents are always open to suggestions that will improve the level of trade and business based there as long as the redevelopment is sympathetic to the needs of local people.

However, there is a clear strength of feeling amongst the Sandfields and Aberavon communities that the proposals to build a car park on the Sunken Gardens and green land on the seaward side of Princess Margaret way need to be looked at again.

What are the views of the local Labour Party on this issue?
Our views on this proposal are clear. We support the views put forward by residents to review and amend the proposals to redevelop the Sunken Gardens areas of the Seafront for either car parking or housing development

It does not make much sense to build housing on the car parking provision that is already there, only to rip up the Sunken Gardens and other green land to build a replacement car park only a short distance away. What really needs to be done as far as the Sunken Gardens is concerned is for it to be upgraded both as a flower garden and a recreation area.

Can the proposals be changed?
These proposals are not set in stone. The plans are contained in a council document entitled the Aberavon Seafront Strategy Review which has been put out for consultation so that the voices of local people can be heard. Any plans that have been put forward as part of the Review can still be amended as a result of public feeling on the issue.

Although the consultation period formally ended at the start of October, the local authority has agreed to still accept submissions from residents who wish to air their views directly on this particular issue.

What can I do to help get the plans reviewed?
You can support our campaign by writing to Regeneration Manager, Economic Development Unit, Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council, Civic Centre, Neath, SA11 3QZ stressing the reasons why this proposal needs to be reconsidered. The more people who write to them, the more chance we have of getting them to look at it again.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

 

Investing in our children

We are pleased to hear that an award of £230,000 has been made by the Big Lottery Fund to enable the completion of the new Children's Integrated Centre based at Sandfields Primary School.

The centre will link education, health, childcare and play activities and will have a huge impact on hundreds of youngsters from six weeks to sixteen years of age in the ward.

The centre already has a management committee set up and plans to appoint a project manager shortly.

A range of activities will be on offer at the centre including early years education, parenting classes, play sessions, a toy library, adult education classes, childminders and advice on jobs and benefits.

We fully support the aims and objectives of the new centre as does the Labour run local Council and Welsh Assembly.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

 

Latest news from the Neath Port Talbot Council Labour Group

Your school is safe with us

Right across Wales Councils are closing schools because of falling school numbers. You will have read or heard about the protests elsewhere from parents and teachers. In Neath Port Talbot the Labour administration has pledged to do all it can to avoid school closures. Instead we want to keep our school buildings open and where appropriate look to amalgamate or federate schools with the support of teachers, governors and parents. We want to continue to have the best education service in Wales.


If you value the schools in your community the only way to ensure they stay open is to continue having a Labour run Council.

Neighbourhood Management

We have recently launched our new Neighbourhood Management initiative. Under this the County Borough has been divided into twelve zones. Each zone now has a team of staff who are responsible for doing all the small, but important jobs such as grass cutting, litter picking and filling in potholes. Part of the initiative is also to re-surface roads and pavements. We put an extra £1.5 million into this initiative and every area should see a difference.

TAN 8

TAN 8 is the Planning Guidance issued by the Assembly on the possible location of wind farms. The guidelines suggest that developers should be allowed to place these in many parts of the County Borough. Indeed it suggests that 38% of all new capacity in Wales should come to the area around Neath Port Talbot. We are insisting this 38% figure is reduced.

Budget

This year we have had the lowest Council Tax rise in the history of Neath Port Talbot and one of the lowest in Wales. We will continue with our strategy of lobbying the Welsh Assembly for a better grant settlement and of managing our own budget carefully. This will ensure that next year there will be another low increase. We will achieve this despite some opposition members, particularly the Nationalists, encouraging overspending.

Transport

We have, with partners, been working on a new Transport for Communities scheme. Buses are of course run by private companies not the Council. Indeed, the recent changes to services were imposed by the bus company. Therefore, as a Council we need to look at other ways of helping to provide transport for communities. One of the best ways is to boost community transport with initiatives such as Dial-A-Ride schemes. There are already successful schemes running and the intention is to ensure there is convenient and reasonably priced transport available in all areas. Community Transport Schemes are always looking for volunteer drivers so please contact them if you are interested.

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