THE FUTURE of public amenities throughout the region looked increasingly bleak after community councils were told the county’s coffers were empty.
Cwmaman town council last week heard that public toilets and even play parks faced all but certain closure unless the funding and running of such facilities was taken over by community- based groups.
Councillors were told that the local authority no longer had the money to cover general maintenance, repairs and the day-to-day running costs of many of the services taken for granted by residents.
Clerk David Davies told members that unless the towncouncil accepted county council proposals to take on the responsibility for Glanaman’s public toilets the facilities would close permanently on March 31.
“Either the town council takes them over or they close – it’s nonnegotiable,” he said.
“We were also told that play areas and playgrounds will be allowed to run down until they are deemed unsafe or beyond repair and they too will then be removed.
“The county council is also now saying there is no money at all in the coffers for bus shelters. There is not even a budget for cleaning them.”
Mr Davies was reporting revelations that came to light during an unofficial meeting between members of Cwmaman and Ammanford town councils, where the two bodies discussed the possibility of working together in a bid to save amenities.
Town and county councillor David Jenkins told fellow members: “The reality is many of the services the county council has traditionally provided are non-statutory – that is, they have no legal requirement to provide them.
“Regional grants from central government are not keeping up with inflation and the bottom line is we are getting poorer and poorer.”