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Parents in RCT protest over cuts to education

Many parents in the area say plans to reduce nursery provision will put children at risk Credit: ITV News

Parents in Rhondda Cynon Taf gathered today to protest against the council's plans to introduce part-time education for three and four year olds in the area.

A march took place in Pontypridd town, organised by members of the group Parents Against the Cuts to Education.

The group have been fighting the council's plans for more than 18 months.

Jo Caddy is one of its members.

A spokesperson for Rhondda Cynon Taf Council said it had been forced to consider these decisions as part of the UK Government's Austerity Measures.

The Council's Cabinet recently agreed to amend the funding of nursery education to support part-time nursery education for three year-olds and full-time for four year olds.

The Cabinet determined that this decision will continue to ensure the provision of sufficient nursery education for the children of Rhondda Cynon Taf.

Even after these changes Rhondda Cynon Taf will be offering one of the most favourable provisions in Wales.This difficult decision will contribute over £2million in savings to bridge a funding gap of £30million which was initially faced by the Council.

– Spokesperson, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

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Police appeal for missing Pontypridd man

Police in Pontypridd are appealing for information regarding the whereabouts of Damien Clifford Jackson who was last seen in the Gelliwastsd Road area of the town around 8.30am on Tuesday 19th August.

43-year-old Mr Jackson is described as being of slight build, 6 feet I inch tall with brown hair and blue eyes. It's believed he's had his hair and beard cut since this picture was taken.

Anyone who has seen Mr Jackson, or who knows of his whereabouts, should call South Wales Police on 101

It's believed Mr Jackson has cut his hair and beard since this picture was taken. Credit: South Wales Police.

Pontypridd lido restoration gains momentum

Cllr Ann Crimmings at the lido, where restoration work is taking place Credit: Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

Pontypridd Lido's multi-million pound restoration project is continuing to gain momentum as the site is transformed into a Wales-wide visitors' destination.

The work is already way under way, after Rhonnda Cynon Taf Council's contractors were appointed a few months ago.

The restoration, which is due to be completed in summer 2015, will include new features such as heated changing facilities, a cafe, and a viewing gallery space to depict the history of the lido and the park.

Built in 1927 the lido was a popular attraction for the local community, but closed in 1991 after falling into decline in the '80s.

"This ambitious project will create an exciting, high quality visitor attraction right in the heart of Pontypridd which promises to attract visitors from throughout the country.

"It will not only create more local jobs but attract tens of thousands of visitors to Pontypridd town centre.

"It is wonderful to see the transformation take place and we all look forward with great excitement and expectation for what promises to be a truly magnificent complex fit for the 21st century."

– Cllr Ann Crimmings, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

Only Men Aloud prepare to wow crowds at Ponty's Big Weekend

Only Men Aloud will headline the concert today Credit: Orchard Entertainment

Welsh male voice choir Only Men Aloud will take to the stage today alongside a host of special guests and local talent, for Ponty's Big Weekend concert.

The concert, which starts today and continues throughout the weekend, will be held at the Ynysangharad War Memorial Park.

Also on the bill is former X Factor contestant Lucie Jones, and singer and actor Connie Fisher, who'll host the show.

The music will continue on Sunday with boyband Union J, and X-Factor winner Sam Bailey among the performing acts.

"Every year we work with partners to secure the top names in the industry for Ponty's Big Weekend because we want it to be a success, we want it to boost the economy and we want everyone to have a wonderful time here in RCT.

"This year will be no exception and we are pleased to have an exciting line-up that offers something for everyone, with a range of established and rising talents that we are sure will bring the crowds to our county borough."

– Cllr Maureen Webber, Rhondda Cynon Taf Council

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Headteacher found guilty of helping pupils in exams

A former headteacher has been struck off the teaching register for two years, after admitting giving pupils help to answer questions in national exams, and even giving them another chance to try questions they hadn't answered correctly.

A tribunal today found Jonathan Rigby, who was headteacher at Coedpenmaen Primary School in Pontypridd, guilty of unacceptable professional conduct.

Mr Rigby worked at Coedpenmaen Primary School in Pontypridd Credit: ITV News Wales

He helped pupils in last year's National Reading and Numeracy tests, now taken by all seven to 14-year-olds in Wales.

A General Teaching Council for Wales committee ruled he 'acted dishonestly and/or with a view to altering the school's test results' and banned him from teaching for at least two years.

Local tradesman wanted to work on Pontypridd Lido

An appeal has gone out to local tradesmen to work on the restoration of Pontypridd's Lido.

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council say it wants experts in plastering, flooring, decorating and tiling to bid for contracts.

The lido is undergoing a £6m restoration. Credit: rhondda-cynon-taff.gov.uk

The restoration of the Grade 2 listed Lido will incorporate three new heated pools all differing in size, restore many of the original historic elements of the building, and construct new changing rooms facilities along with a café.

A “Meet the Buyer” event will be held with Kier Construction to explain the subcontracting opportunities that are likely to be required. The event is being held on the 21st of July.

A470 remains closed in both directions at Pontypridd

South Wales Police says the north and southbound carriageways of the A470 remain closed at Pontypridd, due to concerns around the safety of a woman.

Police were called at 10.31am by members of the public concerned for the safety of a woman on the bridge near to Sainbury's in Pontypridd.

The North and South bound carriageways of the A470 are closed at Pontypridd and members of the public are being diverted away from the area where possible.

Police negotiators are currently in attendance.

We advise motorist to avoid the area and to use alternative routes.

– South Wales Police statement
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