Will the Last Person to Leave the Valleys Please Turn Out the Lights

In which The Author brings you some breaking news

As I’ve reported in several previous entries, Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council are introducing swingeing cuts to their public services. As well as the library closures which I told you about in A Further Turn-Out For the Books, there will be reductions to day centres, nursery provision and ‘meals on wheels’.
This afternoon I’ve been following the progress of the council’s cabinet meeting via Twitter, and there’s further bad news in store. The campaign to keep the Cynon Valley Museum and Gallery open (see Lost Heritage, No Future? has failed. We’ve got twelve weeks to come up with a Plan B, before it closes its doors forever.
Further south, Pontypridd’s Muni Centre (theatre/cinema/café bar) is closing as well. Furthermore, the Coliseum Theatre in Aberdare and the Park and Dare Theatre in Treorchy will be operating a ‘reduced programme’ – although how it can be reduced any further is beyond me, personally. A couple of months ago I sent a sarcastic Letter to RCT Arts, pointing out the paucity of fare on offer and suggesting that maybe a good publicist wouldn’t go amiss. Judging from this afternoon’s decision, it’s obviously much easier to close the doors than to try and increase footfall.
The next phase, which they’re discussing at the time of writing, is to cut back supported bus services throughout the county. I’ll return to that subject again, in a forthcoming blog on buses in general.
In the meantime, it was alarming to read that my friend Mike Powell, the sole LibDem councillor on the 75-member authority, was thrown out of the chamber for voicing his objections. Such is the nature of democracy in this de facto one party state.
The county borough has the slogan Strong Heritage, Strong Future. That heritage has been thrown away this afternoon, and the future presumably holds nothing but more of the same.

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