Lib Dems launch plan for regeneration of mid Wales at Royal Welsh Show
The Welsh Liberal Democrats have used the first day of the Royal Welsh Show in Llanelwedd, Powys to outline their proposals for a Regeneration Plan for mid Wales.
The Party argues that mid Wales is all too often the forgotten region of Wales, and says it is neglected by both the Conservatives in Westminster and Labour in the Senedd which has contributed to a cycle of decline over the last few decades.
The Lib Dems proposals focus on transforming the economy of the region to take advantage of the changing patterns of employment and economic models following COVID-19.
The plan includes:
Improving connectivity, in both digital and physical infrastructure, making sure people and businesses can take advantage of the rise in home working and tourists can access the region easily.
Expanding the Rural Fuel Duty Cut to mid Wales and doubling the discount to 10p per litre, easing the cost-of-living crisis and ensuring people can still get to work.
Protecting access to physical banking, applying pressure on large banks to invest in bank hubs for rural communities where multiple banks work jointly to share physical spaces to offer cash services and in-person banking.
Improving healthcare access, advocating for more health services to be returned to local communities, higher investment in social services and travelling NHS dentists to help clear backlogs.
Introducing measures to help businesses in the region grow, including a town rejuvenation fund, streamlining the planning process and establishing a Job Creation Premium, offsetting the initial costs of recruitment and training for businesses looking to grow.
Tackling the housing crisis which sees many young people being priced out of the communities they grew up in.
Commenting on the proposals, Welsh Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds, the Senedd Member for Mid & West Wales said: “For decades mid Wales has consistently been neglected by both the Labour Government in Cardiff and the Conservative Government in Westminster.
“Mid Wales deserves to be an economic force in its own right, connecting North and South Wales, as well as Wales to the Midland, rather than the forgotten territory it has been allowed to have become by the Tories and Labour.
“Despite years of Conservative representation in Powys, they have failed to deliver a number of key priorities for the region. Most notable is the abject failure to have the rural fuel rebate expanded to mid Wales, something which the Welsh Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for over 10 years and have seen blocked by the Conservative Government throughout that time.
“Likewise Conservative promises to improve the regions internet access haven’t materialised, with figures released this month showing Powys has the worst internet speeds in the whole of the UK while Ceredigion also performs badly.
“On the other hand, Labour continues to fail m Wales, particularly in healthcare access. NHS dental services are near impossible to access and ambulance waiting times are through the roof. We need investment in community healthcare and social services to avoid crisis points building up at A&E.
“While both Labour and the Conservatives have neglected mid Wales for decades, the Welsh Liberal Democrats have always had strong roots in mid Wales and people know when given the chance we will be a loud voice for the region in both Westminster and Cardiff Bay.
“I am proud to put forward this plan today that has something for everyone in mid Wales and would go some way towards addressing the problems our region faces.”
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I wish you all the success in ousting the Tories Ms Dodds, I was outside Welspool Town Hall in 1997 when Lembit won and even though I was Plaid I joined in the celebration, I returned to my native Meirionnydd two years later…
The Tory effect is writ large in the proliferation of chicken farms and effluent in the rivers without a thought for the lovely people I remember in north Powys. It would please me no end to see the Tories pushed back over the border. Your ambitions for the county do you much credit…