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Labour-Plaid let down the Upper Swansea Valley again!

July 6, 2009 12:12 PM

Kirsty Williams AM for Brecon and Radnorshire has expressed her disappointment that the Labour-Plaid Welsh Government has ignored calls for the Upper Swansea Valley to benefit from the Western Valleys Initiative. The scheme will provide a regeneration focus on communities within a geography stretching from the Gwendraeth Valley in the West across to the Upper Garw and Ogmore valleys of Bridgend in the East and extend north to the community of Ystradgynlais in the North. It will focus support on frontline community projects. Kirsty Williams said:"It is hugely disappointing that yet again the Tawe Uchaf area is being forgotten by the Plaid-Labour Government in Cardiff. "Along with local stakeholders and the local community, I have called upon both the First Minister and the Minister for Regeneration to include Coelbren, Caehopkin, Abercraf and Ynyswen, in Powys, in the Government's new Western Valleys Regeneration area. Sadly the Government has refused to do so. "These communities have suffered as much as those that will benefit from the initiative from a lack of investment and a shortage of jobs and services following the decline of heavy industry in the area. The Tawe Uchaf villages face many of the same challenges as those that will benefit from this initiative. These small, remote and less well serviced communities in the Upper Swansea Valley lie a few miles down the road from Ystradgynlais and it seems grossly unfair that they would be excluded from the initiative. "I am of course delighted that Ystradgynlais will benefit from the initiative and that much needed support will be provided to organisations and residents in the town. However it is a missed opportunity that the boundaries of the initiative will not be stretched to include the Tawe Uchaf communities of Coelbren, Caehopkin, Ynyswen and Abercraf. "This is Plaid and Labour yet again showing scant regard for the Upper Swansea valley, its communities and its people."