Ac­tion plan aims to get 7,000 more peo­ple into work across the Val­leys

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS - CHRIS KELSEY chris.kelsey@waleson­

AN AC­TION plan to bring thou­sands of jobs to the South Wales Val­leys was launched last week.

The plan is the re­sult of a year’s work by the Min­is­te­rial Task­force for the South Wales Val­leys and has as one of its aims to get an ex­tra 7,000 peo­ple into work by 2021.

But the launch comes just weeks af­ter the Welsh Gov­ern­ment re­fused to ex­tend a fi­nan­cial guar­an­tee to the Cir­cuit of Wales scheme, which back­ers said could have cre­ated thou­sands of jobs.

The ac­tion plan has been de­vel­oped fol­low­ing feed­back from peo­ple liv­ing and work­ing in the Val­leys.

It sets out a range of aims and ac­tions in each of the three pri­or­ity ar­eas, in­clud­ing:

Clos­ing the em­ploy­ment gap be­tween the South Wales Val­leys and the rest of Wales by get­ting an ad­di­tional 7,000 peo­ple into work by 2021;

Launch­ing three pathfinder projects to look at how ser­vices and lo­cal de­liv­ery can be bet­ter joined up in Fern­dale, Glyn­neath and Ban­wen; and

Ex­plor­ing the de­vel­op­ment of a Val­leys Land­scape Park with the po­ten­tial to help lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties use their nat­u­ral and en­vi­ron­men­tal re­sources for tourism, en­ergy gen­er­a­tion and health and well­be­ing pur­poses.

Alun Davies, the Min­is­ter for Life­long Learn­ing and Welsh Lan­guage, said: “Our Val­leys, Our Fu­ture is not sim­ply a plan for the Val­leys. It is a plan from the Val­leys.

“From the start, I have been clear this task­force will not be an­other case of the Gov­ern­ment de­cid­ing what is right for the Val­leys. If we are to suc­ceed, lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties and lo­cal peo­ple must be at the heart of our work.”

The Welsh Con­ser­va­tives said min­is­ters would need to con­vince Val­leys com­mu­ni­ties their new ac­tion plan is more than just a “glossy PR ex­er­cise”.

Shadow Econ­omy Sec­re­tary Rus­sell Ge­orge said: “For a gen­er­a­tion and more, Val­leys com­mu­ni­ties have been let down by a lack of strate­gic

An ac­tion plan has been de­vel­oped af­ter feed­back from peo­ple

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