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Economic Development Strategy like Labour’s manifesto - not worth the paper it is written on

July 6, 2012 9:49 PM

Earlier this year the Labour Cabinet announced with a flourish their economic development strategy for the next three years. At the time we questioned the value of the document given the Council's record on attracting new businesses and creating jobs in the area.

Comments from the Council leader at the Council meeting of 4th July show we were right to question their ability to deliver any sort of economic development programme.

In a debate on the Council's Corporate Plan Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Powell questioned the effectiveness of the Council's so called regeneration of Pontypridd town centre.

"The plan states that the Pontypridd Townscape Enhancement Project is a key aspect of the regeneration plans of this Council. Yet the progress in Pontypridd town remains painstakingly slow, the Townscape Enhancement has still to my knowledge only delivered on four projects, and the Cabinet member responsible admitted in this Chamber that he intended to do nothing about the low uptake.

It is disappointing to see that the Corporate Plan for the coming year sets a target of only another three businesses to be helped through this scheme. Hardly a challenging target.

Yet the response from the leader of the Council was to say the least dismissive. He claimed that the 'key to economic development lies a long way from this Council' and that as is their usual mantra, it is all down to Westminster.

Following that logic of course then it must be the fault of Labour that our town centres have been allowed to get into the state they are in. Pontypridd has not suddenly spiralled into decline since May 2010. It has been going steadily downhill for many years.

We have been waiting over thirty years for the promised regeneration. What did the Labour Westminster Government do, and indeed the Labour welsh government who are still in power and who are responsible for economic development in Wales?"