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MP defends UK Government after failure of levelling up bid for Vale of Clwyd

24 Jan 2023 4 minute read
James Davies MP speaking in the House of Commons

Richard Evans, local democracy reporter

The Vale of Clwyd’s MP has defended the Government’s decision to refuse a bid for £20m of regeneration funds for Rhyl, Prestatyn, Rhuddlan, and Denbigh.

Denbighshire’s leader Cllr Jason McLellan had slammed Conservative MP James Davies after the Vale of Clwyd’s bid for the Levelling-Up Fund was rejected last week.

The funds had been earmarked for a number of projects, including over £5m for Rhyl Town Centre, over £4m for Rhyl’s prom, £2.5m for Prestatyn’s High Street, and £1.2m to demolish Denbigh Hospital – amongst other projects.

But despite Clwyd-West being awarded over £11m for a number of projects around Ruthin, the Vale of Clwyd’s bid was rejected.

The funding bids must be supported by the local MP. Both Clwyd-West’s MP David Jones and the Vale of Clwyd West’s MP Dr James Davies back each bid.

Slammed 

But when the Vale of Clwyd’s bid failed, Denbighshire leader Cllr Jason McLellan slammed MP Dr James Davies, blaming the Tories for the rejection.

Dr James Davies, MP for the Vale of Clwyd, has now defended his position.

“I would like to thank Denbighshire County Council for its hard work in putting together bids for the Levelling-Up Fund,” he said.

“The UK Government has placed Denbighshire in the highest priority category for receipt of Levelling-Up monies, largely due to deprivation present in parts of Rhyl and Denbigh.

“It provided capacity funding to support the preparation and submission of a high-quality bid for the Vale of Clwyd constituency area, and I understand the hard work carried out so far has been recognised and met many of the necessary criteria.

“However, the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC)’s independent scoring process requires an even stronger bid before funding can be released.

“The department, therefore, intends to work with the county council to modify its proposals to achieve this. I am grateful to Levelling-Up Minister Dehenna Davison MP for agreeing to visit Rhyl shortly to discuss how best to ensure the proposals can progress via round three of the fund.

“During the formulation of the Vale of Clwyd Levelling-Up Fund bid, very many hours of engagement were spent between myself, Denbighshire County Council officers, and elected councillors of all parties.

“The council went on to liaise closely with officials at DLUHC. Following the council’s submission of the bid, I held repeated meetings and conversations with the Chancellor and Treasury, No 10, and DLUHC ministers to ensure there was a full and proper understanding of the bid and its importance.

“However, it was made clear to me that decisions must and would be based on the independent scoring process.

“The Levelling-Up Fund has already been incredibly positive for North Wales, with the region having received more financial support per head of the population than virtually any other area of the United Kingdom, and Denbighshire itself having had bids approved in both rounds of the process so far.

“Today, DLUHC officials have indicated to me some of the possible reasons why Denbighshire’s third bid missed out on qualifying for funding in this round.

Collaborative process

“I am meeting them next week to discuss these reasons in detail so that I can advise the council further.

“This has been a collaborative process, including elected councillors, pursued in good faith by all, and I am optimistic that with continued partnership working, the third round of the fund can bring success.”

He added: “Meanwhile, I welcome work being carried out to begin to allocate the £25.6 million that has been awarded to the county from the Government’s UK Shared Prosperity Fund – another of the levelling-up funding schemes.

“This will build on the good work already carried out through the £2.9m UK Community Renewal Fund and exceeds the support that the county would have received under the European Union funding metrics.

“I urge the council to continue to also seek investment opportunities within the North Wales Growth Deal and Community Ownership Fund.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
12 days ago

HA HA HA! That is EXACTLY what you get for voting Tory.

If you voted Tory (for whatever stupid reason) when you were offered social regeneration, free broadband, more money for the NHS, nationalisation of energy and the train networks by Corbyn’s Labour: Don’t cry. THS is what you voted for.

THIS is what happens when you vote out of hatred and spite and don’t pay attention to the real world and allow others to TELL you who and what you are.

F

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
12 days ago
Reply to  Cathy Jones

Cathy, Wales will need to control its own affairs and collect its own taxes.

No other single country will place the people of Wales above their own country.
The EU however is a collective of independent nations that pool their resources and power is shared between the member states.

The Tories are monopoly capitalism where oligarchs control wealth and power.
UK Nationalisation would have meant centralised control and ownership by the UK government – state monopoly capitalism. No change!

The only way is Welsh independence. Vote Plaid Cymru.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
12 days ago

Hard to believe they turned Rhyl down…

Rob
Rob
12 days ago

Levelling up was just a gimmick. I bet you these Tory MPs will blame the state of Rhyl and Prestatyn on the Welsh Government.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
12 days ago

This clearly shows why Tory levelling up will never work. One of the poorest areas of Cymru rejected. It makes a mockery of this bidding process. Deprived areas, desperate for funding and rejuvenation shouldn’t have to bid for help. The Tories have turned the whole thing into some sort of competition – it’s disgusting and many many people resent it. What a way for a government to act. We are stuck with it until we get independence – then we can aim for a far far fairer society.

Richard
Richard
12 days ago

With the Vale of Clwyd going in the new boundary shake up and David Jones retiring ( Diolch I Dduw) James quite rightly is moving his focus to the new seat more Conwy / Colwyn area and I for one wish him all the very best in pastures new ….🥺

Last edited 12 days ago by Richard
Rob
Rob
11 days ago
Reply to  Richard

If the polls are correct then the Tories will be wiped out in Wales at the next election. Even though they dislike devolution, those Tory MPs will look to an expanded Senedd to regain their salary in 2026.

Sikejsudjek
Sikejsudjek
12 days ago

The levelling up fund seems to have mostly ended up in marginal Tory seats in England. How strange.

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
11 days ago

In the words of the late Mandy Rice-Davies: “Well he would, wouldn’t he?”

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