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