I’ve had emails from residents expressing their views about the need to protect front line services in the council budget. This week I met with Cllr Philippa Marsden, leader of the council and she assured me that there will be no cuts to services. Trehir recycling centre will remain open, social services and school budgets will be protected and there will be no increase in charges for school meals. There will also be no cuts to CCTV services, with 26 remote cameras retained in the county. This is a good and responsible budget.
I’ve held discussions with public transport providers in the area in the last couple of weeks. With Transport for Wales, I raised the issue of peak time overcrowding and unreliable services on the Rhymney to Cardiff line. I use the line myself to get to work and it is clear that increased capacity is needed this year and this must be maintained. Bus services too need to improve and I am continuing to make the case with Stagecoach for the retention of the 86X to the Heath. Cardiff Council proposed a ‘congestion charge’ on cars entering the city but this cannot even be considered as an option until we see a sustained improvement in public transport. Fortunately, Welsh Government agree and will not allow Cardiff to unilaterally impose a charge.