A City Deal for Cardiff and the Valleys would be a golden opportunity to rejuvenate the south Wales economy, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have said today.
Welsh Liberal Democrat AM Eluned Parrott and Cardiff Central MP Jenny Willott have led calls for a City Deal for Cardiff. They have proactively held meetings with the UK Government to discuss how a City Deal for the Cardiff City Region could work.
The Coalition Government has already invested billions of pounds in City Deals – a Liberal Democrat policy – across England and Scotland, with Glasgow and the Clyde Valley recently receiving £1.13bn from the UK and Scottish Governments to boost its economy. Local authorities are required to work together to bid for such a Deal.
In November 2014 after the matter was raised by Eluned Parrott AM, it was reported that the Leader of Cardiff Council said it was too early to say when a City Deal bid to the UK Government could be submitted. Since then, no further public comments on this matter have been made by either Cardiff Council or the Welsh Government.
Eluned Parrott AM, Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Economy Minister, said:
“City Deals are a Liberal Democrat policy that gives city regions the powers and investment they need to kick start their economies.
“The potential for such a deal for Cardiff and its City Region is immense. Millions of pounds could be ploughed straight into our creaking transport infrastructure, improving rail links into and across our city. We could complete the A4232 up to the motorway, pulling traffic off our residential streets to encourage walking and cycling, and finally see plans for a modern transport hub around Central Square come to fruition.
“Extra investment could build new business accommodation, making Cardiff a hub for developing sectors and creating thousands of new jobs and apprenticeships both in the city and across neighbouring areas. This is a chance to bring high-skilled jobs to our city, while revitalising some of Cardiff’s more deprived areas.
“Too often Cardiff has missed out where other UK cities have been forging ahead. The Welsh Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for a Cardiff City Deal for a long time now, but Cardiff’s Labour-run council has failed to bid for City Deal funding from the UK Government while cities such as Glasgow are benefiting from £1bn in funding for their ambitious plans. Not for the first time, Labour and their poverty of ambition for our economy have been caught asleep at the wheel.”