Rhondda Cynon Taff

Rhondda Cynon Taff

Rhondda Cynon Taff, or RCT, ( _cy. Rhondda Cynon Taf) is a county borough in the preserved county of Mid Glamorgan, Wales.

The county borough borders Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly to the east, Cardiff and the Vale of Glamorgan to the south, Bridgend and Neath Port Talbot to the west and Powys to the north. Its main towns are Aberdare, Mountain Ash and Pontypridd. Rhondda Cynon Taff is the second most populous local authority area in Wales.

See List of places in Rhondda Cynon Taff for a list of towns and villages. The most populous town in Rhondda Cynon Taff is Aberdare with a population of 31,619 (1991 Census).


The county borough was formed on 1 April 1996, by the merger of the former Mid Glamorgan districts of Cynon Valley, Rhondda and Taff-Ely (with the exceptions of Creigiau and Pentyrch, which were added to Cardiff). Its name reflects all these, and the rivers Cynon, Rhondda and Taff.


The district developed from the discovery and mining, primarily for export, of high-quality Welsh coals, such as steam coal, via Cardiff and Barry docks. The landscape was dominated by coal-waste heaps and deep mine pit-heads. Many of the roads are lined with semi-ribbon development of closely packed Victorian terraces of houses which have given the Rhondda valleys their distinctive appearance. In the 1980s, privatisation of British Coal resulted in the closure of many of the coal mining activities in the valleys, devastating the local economy. In the nineteenth century the Rhondda had over 60 mines.

As deep mines closed, a number of very large open-cast coal mines were created and remain in operation, especially towards the north of the area.

The Welsh Development Agency, which was formed in 1976 to help reverse the economic down-turn in Wales caused by the recession in both the coal and steel industries, was very active in the Rhondda Cynon Taff area in supporting and encouraging industrial and commercial regeneration.Recent investment in the area has included the Dragon International Film Studios, on the site of Llanillyd open-cast mine. This project is headed by Sir Richard Attenborough and will comprise TV studios, editing suites and a large film studio complex. The location of the project has led it to become known locally as "Valleywood", even though the Welsh valleys are some miles away.

A Rhondda Cynon Taf business club is run by the County Council in conjunction with its patrons. [ [http://www.rctbusinessclub.co.uk/ Business Club website] ]


The coal industry has had major adverse impacts on the quality of the environment, such that most of the rivers were severely polluted to the exclusion of all fish life. Recent decades have shown great improvement with the return of salmon recorded in the River Taff and the River Rhondda but the continued presence of man-made obstacles in the rivers is inhibiting regeneration of their pre-industrial numbers and condition.

The chemical industry has also had adverse effects due to the dumping of toxic waste in the now disused Brofiscin Quarry in the village of Groesfaen. Dumping took place over a 7-year period between 1967 and 1973 by Monsanto. It is estimated that the cleanup costs could be more than £100 million. A Dr Papageorge, formerly Monsanto's chief scientist, estimates that between 60,000 and 80,000 tonnes of PCB contaminated wastes were dumped there. [cite journal |author=John Hughes; Pat Thomas |title=Burying The Truth |journal=The Ecologist |volume=37|issue=4 |pages=33–63 |year=2007|month=May ]


The area is governed by Rhondda Cynon Taf County Borough Council from headquarters in Tonypandy.


Best-performing Secondary Schools in RCT, based on 5 GCSE passes, A-C Grade, according to the most recent report by Estyn as the Office of Her Majesty's Inspectorate for Education and Training in Wales :

*72% Y Pant School, Pontyclun (English)
*71% St John Baptist (Church in Wales) High School, Aberdare (English)
*63% Ysgol Gyfun Rhydfelen, Pontypridd (Welsh)
*61% Ysgol Gyfun Rhydywaun, Penywaun (Welsh)
*52% Treorchy Comprehensive School, Treorchy (English)
*50% Aberdare Girls School, Aberdare (English)
*50% Cardinal Newman Cath Comp. School, Pontypridd (English)
*49% Ysgol Gyfun Llanhari, Llanharry (Welsh)
*49% Hawthorn High School, Pontypridd (English)
*47% Bryncelynnog Comp. School, Pontypridd (English)
*47% Ysgol Gyfun Y Cymmer, Porth (Welsh)
*44% Aberdare Boys' Comprehensive School, Aberdare (English)
*44% [http://www.pontypriddhighschool.co.uk Pontypridd High School] , Cilfynydd (English)
*42% Blaengwawr Comprehensive School, Aberdare (English)
*41% Ferndale Comm School, Ferndale (English)
*37% Tonypandy Comp School, Tonypandy (English)
*36% Porth County Comm School, Porth (English)
*34% Tonyrefail School, Tonyrefail (English)
*30% Mountain Ash Comprehensive School, Mountain Ash(English)

Twin Towns

Rhondda Cynon Taf is twinned with:
*Nürtingen and Ravensburg, Baden-Württemberg(Germany)flagicon|GER


External links

* [http://www.rhondda-cynon-taf.gov.uk/ Rhondda Cynon Taf Unitary Authority homepage]
* [http://www.rhonddacynontaffonline.co.uk/ Rhondda Cynon Taff Online news portal]

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