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Police raid Valleys homes in drugs operation

Police raided 17 properties across Tonyrefail and Tonypandy early this morning as part of a major operation targeting drug dealers in the Rhondda.

Officers made ten arrests and seized cocaine and cannabis.

This morning’s activity was all about providing reassurance to communities in the Rhondda that we are taking action against those suspected of being involved in dealing Class A drugs.

We recognise this is an issue that can be linked to crime and anti-social behaviour that affects the lives of residents and this operation was designed to send a strong message that we will deal with this type of criminality.

– Superintendent Jim Dyson

Seven other people have been arrested previously. Police say the operation has led to cocaine with a street value of £500,000 being recovered along with a large quantity of cash. Two vehicles worth £50,000 were also seized under the Proceeds of Crime Act.


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


Cocaine worth up to £350,000 discovered in Rhondda house

The drugs were discovered at a Tonypandy property this afternoon. Credit: South Wales Police

Police have seized around five kilogrammes of what they suspect to be cocaine from a property in Tonypandy.

The drugs, which could be worth as much as £350,000 – were discovered in a box concealed in plastic packaging.

Our enquiry is still in its early stages but this looks like a substantial recovery of cocaine, which will undoubtedly have a huge impact on the supply of drugs throughout Rhondda.

– Detective Chief Inspector Mark Lewis

Drug processing equipment was also recovered from the house.

A 33 year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of drugs offences and is currently in police custody. The investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information is asked to contact 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800555 111.

Appeal for information to trace owner of lost owl

The RSPCA is appealing for information after an owl was found in Rhondda Cynon Taf.

The owl was found in Ystrad in Pentre Credit: RSPCA

According to the charity, it is believed that the bird is owned by someone as it appears tame and has a metal ID ring on its leg, but efforts to trace the owner from the ring have so far failed.

The eagle owl was found on the road near Danycoed, Ystrad in Pentre on Saturday.

A member of the public saw the owl in the road and crows were attacking it. The bird couldn’t fly away, so it was thought the owl was injured.

The owl has had a health check at a local vets and has no injures, but was lethargic. The bird is doing really well, but it has been a stressful experience.

– Sarah Davies, RSPCA animal collection officer

More than 10,000 people visit Big Welsh Bite event

Visitor numbers to this year's Big Welsh Bite topped 10,000. The annual Welsh food and agricultural show showcases a variety of produce from across the country.

People at the Big Welsh Bite Credit: RCT Council

“The 2014 Big Welsh Bite was an amazing success, attracting large crowds on both days. “It was a wonderful event that continues to promote all that we have to offer in Rhondda Cynon Taf."

– Cllr Maureen Webber

Replacement mine memorial for Abercynon

A ceremony is being held to celebrate the replacement of the Abercynon Mining Memorial.

The original plaque at Navigation Park was stolen by metal thieves in 2012. The memorial was erected in memory of those who lost their lives or worked in the mine.

The bronze plaques were stolen for their scrap value

At the height of its production, almost 3,000 people worked at Abercynon Colliery, which was later connected underground to Lady Windsor Colliery in Ynysybwl.

The colliery first opened in the 1880s

Abercynon Colliery was opened in 1889 by the Dowlais Iron Company to feed the steelworks in Cardiff.

During the construction of the colliery, 18 men lost their lives. A further five men lost their lives underground during an accident in 1906.

Former miners who worked at the colliery will attend the ceremony today and the plaque will be unveiled by the Mayor of Rhondda Cynon Taf Cllr John Watts.

The colliery closed in 1988

"This will be an important day for the whole community and I urge everyone who is able to, to come along and join in this event to mark our strong industrial heritage."

– Cllr John Watts
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