South East Wales

Rhondda Cynon Taf nursery cuts legal bill for council

Poster
Image caption Parents won a High Court battle over nursery admission rules

Rhondda Cynon Taf Council (RCT) has had to pay a £350,000 legal bill over challenges to cuts in nursery education and Rhydyfelin library's closure.

A freedom of information request by Plaid Cymru revealed the Labour-run authority had paid out £144,000 for the legal costs of nursery campaigners.

It also paid the £97,500 legal bill of successful library campaigners.

The council said costs in such circumstances usually fell on the authority which was "regrettable".

RCT had previously revealed that its own external legal costs came to £113,199.

Parents took their fight to the High Court in May to overturn the council's decision to end full-time nursery education for younger children.

'Challenged'

Meanwhile, in the same month, campaigners chained themselves to bookshelves to protest against the proposed closure of Rhydfelin library.

They were granted a judicial review before it was reprieved.

Image caption Happy campaigners after the library was saved in June

Plaid Cymru said the money would have been better spent on frontline services.

It said the council had tried to "railroad" local people and it had been "a very expensive mistake to make".

A council spokesman said due to continued UK government cuts unpopular decisions had to be made.

"As is their right, residents can and have challenged these particular council decisions which, in respect of the decision to make changes to the funding arrangements for nursery education, resulted in the council's decision being quashed."

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