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- Natalie J
Why is Cynon Valley being ignored?
Posted by Lewis on the 30th November 2016
Why is Cynon Valley being ignored?
Following the First Minister Carwyn Jones AM and his vision of the South Wales Valleys on Tuesday first ministers questions it seems that again Cynon Valley is just being ignored.
The local labour party and the labour controlled Assembly government entirely content for Cynon Valley to become nothing more than a hub for feeding the city of Cardiff and Merthyr.
Cynon Valley is losing its identity and Aberdare the best principal town in Rhondda Cynon Taf is forgotten unlike Merthyr who has a thriving retail park and now Trago Mills has started to break ground and construct a new outlet.
Why is Cynon Valley being left behind? Look around and see how many empty shops there are, where the Palladium Cinema once stood new shops stand empty. The old council treasury building is dilapidated, the Black Lion has scaffold around but we believe there is no plans to reopen open in the near future.
Chequers youth club closed to be turned into ground floor retail unit with four 2-bedrom apartments and one 1-bedrom apartment, also what was the boot Hotel will be converted into flats and retail units on the ground floor.
We all remember the £7.7m project to transform Aberdare town
Below taken from a publication by The Bevan Foundation
The Case for Merthyr Tydfil to be a Growth Hub
Merthyr Tydfil is ideally placed to be Wales’ first growth hub.
1. Counterweight to Cardiff
Cardiff Capital Region and the Metro have the potential to attract investment and drive growth.
This growth is welcome but Merthyr Tydfil may not benefit fully because:
The travel time will still be considerable at 45 minutes for the 24 mile Merthyr – Cardiff trip, far greater than the average British commute of 28 minutes for 10 miles. The cost of travel is also a deterrent: a return train fare from Merthyr Tydfil to Cardiff (£7.90) is equivalent to more than an hour’s pay at the National Living Wage and more than two hours’ pay for an apprentice.
Cardiff does not have the capacity to provide sufficient jobs. Even if Cardiff generated 30,000 new jobs and half of these jobs were filled by people living in the Valleys, both heroic assumptions, Cardiff would provide only around one-third of the jobs required to bring the valleys up to the GB average employment rate.
Those who most need to get work are least likely to use the Metro: on average people in lower socio-economic groups travel shorter distances to work and are much less likely to use the train than people in higher socio-economic groups.
2. Why Merthyr Tydfil?
Merthyr is ideally placed to be a growth hub for the northern part of the city region. ‘Greater
A substantial population within 20 minutes’ drive time – at least 175,000 people (about half the population of Cardiff).
Already around 10,000 people commute into jobs in the borough.
It is at a key transport intersection – between A470 and A465 and a Metro terminus – with good public transport links to the north, south, east and west.
It is attracting significant private and public investment .e.g Cyfarthfa Retail Park,
Merthyr Leisure Village, Trago Mills, General Dynamics.
It already has key ‘anchor’ institutions of a local authority, further and higher education institution, University health board, Welsh Government office, law courts.
3. What would being a ‘growth hub’ mean?
More work needs to be done but being a growth hub could include:
Significant improvements in transport to the town centre
Additional incentives for job creation.
Designation of specialist employment areas e.g. a science and technology park.
Improved provision of industrial and office premsies.
Specialist further and higher education offer e.g. engineering academy.