Update on the Ministerial Taskforce for the South Wales Valleys

Jul 11, 2017Articles, Assembly Business, Assembly Issues0 comments

Plenary Tuesday 11 July 2017


Spoken Contribution – 17:57:43
Watch this contribution on Senedd TV | View this contribution in the Record of Proceeding document

Thanks, Minister, for your statement this afternoon. It’s good that there is a Welsh Government plan for the Valleys, but, of course, we do need to ensure that it is an effective one. There does seem to be a measure of scepticism in various sectors of the Chamber so far, and we do have a lack of detail. Of course, you are hampered by the historic problem of the relative failure, or the perceived relative failure, of previous Valleys initiatives. So, I wish you luck with this one and, of course, I think we all hope that it can yield some success, but we need to have some more detail about what you’re trying to do, and, of course, we await the delivery plan in the autumn.

Jobs are going to be crucial, as has become clear from what we’ve been debating today. Now, you’ve hinted at the creation of possibly thousands of jobs, which is a tantalising prospect, but we don’t know much about how these jobs are going to be created, so I’d be interested if you could tell us a little bit more about what tools you’ll be using in this job creation scheme. If there is going to be more relocation of public sector jobs to the Valleys, could you give us any more information about that?

One of the previous speakers also asked about interaction with the private sector. Yes, we do need to make sure that there are jobs located in the Valleys themselves, not just in the city region as a whole, so have you any more to say about that? Specifically, what tools could you use? Will there be recruitment or training grants on offer for firms employing local people? Will there be anything relating to sector-specific training? That’s another possibility. You talked about the issue of promoting tourism by promoting the natural beauty of the Valleys, which is an aspect that’s often overlooked. You’ve talked about the landscape park, for instance, so is there any more you can tell us about that, specifically, this afternoon? Thank you.