Conservatives call for investment to tackle poverty in Wales’ market and seaside towns

Market Day in Rhyl. Picture by Joe Blundell (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The Conservatives have called on the Welsh Government to set up a fund to support regeneration in market and seaside towns.

Five of the 10 most deprived areas in Wales are located within towns, including Rhyl, Merthyr Tydfil and Wrexham, they said.

The Conservatives won the constituencies of Wrexham and the Vale of Clwyd, which includes Wrexham and Rhyl, at the General Election on 12 December.

Shadow Minister for Communities, Mark Isherwood AM/AC, will call today on the Welsh Government to establish Seaside Town and Market Town fund.

“All mainstream political parties want to tackle poverty,” he said. “Labour claims that ‘only the state can guarantee fairness’. Their centralised, top-down approach means well, but fails badly.

“As evidence repeatedly confirms, embracing the co-producing revolution in our towns and communities trumps ‘top-down’ approaches towards community engagement any day.”

Noting that Wales has had Labour Welsh Government for almost 21 years, Mr Isherwood referred to the fact that the Joseph Rowntree report on UK poverty published in December 2018 stated that “…of the four countries of the UK, Wales has consistently had the highest poverty rate for the past 20 years’.

 

‘Fundamental’

The Conservative’s motion in the Senedd proposes that the Senedd ‘Acknowledges the particular challenges faced by seaside and market towns with higher retail vacancy rates and higher levels of deprivation than in other parts of Wales’.

“As FSB Cymru has argued, towns are fundamental to the way that Wales works, with small towns in Wales accounting for almost 40 per cent of the whole population of the country,” Mark Isherwood said.

“A Welsh Conservative Government would, therefore, establish a Seaside Town Fund and a Market Town Fund to help regenerate Wales’ local communities, with £200 million to be invested in our local areas over a five-year term.

“These funds, which would enable communities to decide how the fund is to be invested within their local area, will help to support vital local services and businesses, and emphasise the Welsh Conservatives’ commitment to ‘levelling-up’ investment across Wales and restoring Welsh towns and communities.”

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Ernie The SmallholderJonathan GammondWalter HuntSteve DugganJohn Ellis Recent comment authors
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Charles L. Gallagher
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Charles L. Gallagher

So typical of Tories, they KNOW that the past ten years of Fib/Dem and Tory austerity are the real cause of these problems. In Scotland, it has cost the SNP, led Scottish Government £millions to mitigate Fib/Dem & Tory austerity like the bedroom tax, etc.

Jonesy
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Jonesy

The first thing they can lobby for is to ban problematic people from England’s local authorities being dumped in the obsolete guest houses of Welsh seaside towns and other areas in Wales. That would be a start and help our over burdened police forces, schools and social services, just ask them

John Ellis
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John Ellis

“A Welsh Conservative Government would, therefore …”

Even a few years ago that phrase would invite a hollow laugh because the notion would be in the ‘flying pig’ category. But in the light of December 12th, who know?! If, in the face of a lot of expectation, Bunter makes neither a ghoul nor a fool of himself over the next fourteen months, I wouldn’t entirely rule out the possibility. Conservative-led coalition, at least.

And it’d make Welsh devolution safe. You can bet that there’d be no talk of a referendum on abolishing the Senedd if the Tories reckoned they might win!

Steve Duggan
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Steve Duggan

Don’t listen to the Tories they talk crap. Wales hasn’t exactly prospered under continual Labour party control in Cardiff but under the Conservatives it would have been far far worse. Ultimately, i believe neither party will ever represent Wales to Wales’ benefit. If the poverty throughout the country is ever to be addressed we need a party in power that puts Wales first in every sense and we need independence.

Walter Hunt
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Walter Hunt

What NE Wales needs is a coordinated investment plan. This starts with the a community coming up with a viable unique theme or themes which becomes its USP. At the moment the townscapes and high streets are largely generic and dull. There is no reason why anyone should visit and instead people go to Chester or Liverpool or Manchester and spend their money there. But if every town is different and well interconnected by public transport then as a region it may be able to compete with urban centres across the border.

Jonathan Gammond
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Jonathan Gammond

The seaside towns took a hammering when cheap foreign travel became available from the 1970s. However there are examples around the UK of towns that have rescued themselves: Margate, Scarborough, Brighton, St Ives. Morecambe is to be the home of a northern eden project. Southport has revamped its cultural offer. Even Llandudno has been working on its offer as have Conwy and Aberystwyth in their own way. Places like Rhyl and Prestatyn have their own strengths, not least that they are experiences rather than retail, they will find their USP if given space and then the support to do so.

Ernie The Smallholder
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Ernie The Smallholder

Do they really believe that it is up to the private sector to provide investment ?? – Why don’t they join Plaid Cymru and Yes Cymru to gain more financial independence (from London) including setting up a Welsh central bank and a Welsh stock exchange along with other investment institutions where Welsh people can invest in our own future instead of relying on central powers and overseas investors ? How about a federal Wales? The assembly of each area can nominate a delegate to sit in a 2nd chamber with veto. Actions we want, not decrees from London, we are… Read more »