Owen’s March Pontypridd Observer column

Last week’s snow impacted upon just about everyone across Pontypridd and Llantrisant. The ‘Beast from the East’ affected many of our public services but our dedicated emergency service workers, council employees, doctors and nurses worked around the clock to make sure patients were cared for and roads were cleared.

I want to say a huge thank you to anyone who helped in some way- I’ve heard stories of hospital staff staying overnight to ensure they can deliver vital care and 4×4 car owners sharing facebook posts offering emergency service staff lifts to their places of work. RCT confirmed this was the largest snow clearance operation undertaken in the twenty year history of the Council- there were more machines, contractors and crews supporting Council teams than ever before. Council workers alongside social workers and meals on wheels staff made sure that the most vulnerable people were supported. We owe them a debt of gratitude.

But we need more than words to help maintain our vital public services in times of disruption. Local councils are on the frontline of government, delivering the services which people rely on and which support our communities on a day-to-day basis. In the last eight years, successive Tory-led governments have made huge cuts to funding for our public services, putting immense strain on council resources. These cuts greatly reduce the capacity of our Council here in RCT to be able to deliver essential services, while facing enormous pressure to balance the books.

Labour has committed to addressing the burden that local government has borne under Tory austerity, including bringing services under public control and investing to upgrade our economy, create good local jobs and reduce inequality.  Here in RCT, Labour has continued to deliver for local people and thanks to strong financial management, the council has been able to continue to invest in schools, highways and new infrastructure projects.

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I’m always available to help constituents on a wide range of issues. Please feel free to get in touch by calling 01443 401122, emailing [email protected] or visiting www.owensmithmp.co.uk.  You can also find me at Facebook.com/OwenSmithMP and Twitter.com/OwenSmith_MP.