The Welsh Liberal Democrats have hit out at “dithering” Labour Ministers for failing to empower communities to protect vital assets like libraries and pubs, saying that hundreds have closed under Labour’s watch.
The Localism Act was passed in 2011 by the Coalition Government, allowing communities to designate Assets of Community Value in order to protect their status. Labour MPs voted against the Bill at the time.
Today Labour Ministers have announced their intention to enact a similar provision in Wales after the Assembly election, which would be over six years after England’s provision came into force.
Welsh Liberal Democrats have led calls for a similar provision to be adopted in Wales, most recently making it part of their plan to revitalize Welsh high streets announced in November.
Peter Black AM, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Shadow Communities Minister, said:
“Where Liberal Democrats in Government acted to help communities protect their valuable assets, Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay spent years failing to act on this issue.
“As a result, hundreds of libraries, pubs and other assets that could have been saved by their communities have closed under Labour’s watch.
“Labour may think it’s okay to use these powers as a carrot, dangling it under communities’ noses to gather more votes at the Assembly election, but those communities who have had their heart torn out won’t be at all thankful for Labour’s dithering.”