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What about the Valleys?

October 27, 2011 5:51 PM
By Rhys Taylor
Five Enterprise Zones have been announced across Wales, but the South Wales Valleys have been bypassed by the Welsh Government's "first stage" plans.
Whilst I agree with establishing Enterprise Zones in Wales - it is time the Welsh Government made the best of their devolved powers on the economy instead of blaming the Westminster Government - hand-picking and 'misplacing' Zones could end up in a 1980s Swansea situation where businesses were displaced.
Everyone will ask the question of why it wasn't their area, but not all areas need the same economic boost the Valleys does. Placing Enterprise Zones in Cardiff Central (Financial Services) and St. Athans (Aerospace) completely bypasses and draws business away from investing in the Valleys. Branding Zones will surely mean that the local economy will be based, mainly, on a single industry - a weak structure.
However it's possible it's a 'knee-jerk' announcement after Wales lost out to a £355million Jaguar Land Rover plant, and the plans will change, in which case let's hope we aren't ignored and taken for granted like usual.
Rhys Taylor
RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats