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‘It’ll put us back 10 years’: Disappointment over failed £25-million levelling up bids for Monmouthshire

28 Oct 2021 3 minutes Read
Caldicot cross, a memorial to the deaths of soldiers in WWI and WWII. Photo taken by Kamryn Matika. This work has been released into the public domain by its author.

Saul Cooke-Black, local democracy reporter

A councillor has said that his town has been “set back 10 years” after it was announced that bids for £25 million from the UK Government’s Levelling-up Fund in Monmouthshire have been unsuccessful.

Yesterday, Rishi Sunak announced that £121m of funding woud go to 10 specific schemes in Wales as part of the fund. Despite Conservative seats making up six of the successful ten, Monmouthshire missed out on a slice of the £4.8 billion fund.

Nowhere else in Gwent received any money either.

A £14 million bid was made to upgrade Caldicot Leisure Centre and revitalise the town centre, with the plans including refurbishment of shops in Newport Road and improvements to Church Road and Newport Road West.

A separate £11 million bid proposed town centre improvements in Monmouth, as well as improving Shire Hall and redeveloping the Market Hall.

Jessica Morden, MP for Newport East constituency, said she was “really disappointed” that the Caldicot bid had been “overlooked”.

“This was a positive, cross-party and community-focused bid which would have made a real difference, redeveloping the leisure centre and providing new money for the town centre,” she said.

Ms Morden said she will be seeking discussions with Monmouthshire council about future options.

‘Feedback’

Caldicot councillor Tony Easson said he was “very disappointed” by the news.

“It’s going to put Caldicot back 10 years,” he said.

“The funding was needed for the leisure centre revamp and for bringing the town centre up to the 21st century.

“There’s a lot of deprivation in my ward and the town needed a lift as well.”

Cllr Easson has submitted an emergency member’s question ahead of a full council meeting next week asking about the impact of the decision on the area’s economy.

A spokesman for Monmouthshire County Council said: “We are very disappointed that the bids were unsuccessful, but we will listen to the feedback and decide how we might now proceed.

“We understand that while our bids were not successful on this occasion we may bid again in the future.

“Based upon this, we will decide on how we might proceed and what alternative funding strategies might be adopted if necessary, but we believe the bids are robust and delivering the projects remains important to these communities and to the council overall.”

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Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
1 month ago

Six out of ten go to Conservative seats
No surprise there
This is political gerrymandering by any measur
Levelling up is pure smokescreen

Gareth
Gareth
1 month ago

Following recent criticism of the Senedd by Tory MS and MP’s about what the Senedd is spending money on, how many of them will now make public complaints about where Westminster has decided to spend our money. If they had spoken up for constituents instead of boot licking Boris and blaming everything on Cardiff, maybe we would have had the money to decide where in Wales it should be spent , and not left it up to someone in London to decide .

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

The Tory ‘Levelling-up’ of Wales is a absolute facade & lie. The Conservatives are using Blairite New Labour tactics by adopting similar methodology, in their case “social Conservatism'” with lame rhetoric how they are spreading wealth across all of Britain when this is untrue. The Tories care not for Wales. Care not for the poor and are society deniers. I remember what Thatcher said in the eighties before destroying the Welsh mining industry putting hard working communities on the economic scrapheap. I hate the Tories with a passion! Remember, the amount spent on one infrastructure build in England with HS2… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
30 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Apparently, I already voted for your comment, though pretty sure otherwise.
Okay then, have 20 upticks unofficially!

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