“After countless millions spent by this Welsh Labour Government, and billions from elsewhere, over 20 years on attempts to deal with poverty in our country, the publication of the Wales Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) makes depressing reading," said Mark Isherwood.
“In a report published every five years, I would expect to see more improvements across all of the eight categories – that include income, health, education, and employment – for all areas in Wales.
“But many of the wards in this year’s top – or perhaps I should say bottom – 10 of the index, such as Rhyl West 1 and 2, Caerau in Bridgend, Newport’s Pillgwenlly 4, and Twyn Carno 1 in Caerphilly have also been in our just outside the bottom 10 in 2005, 2011, and 2014 WIMD reports, with Rhyl West 1 and 2 jostling for the bottom position in many of those years.
“Where are the positive outcomes of programmes such as Communities First, which cost nearly half a billion pounds over 17 years? Even the Welsh Government admitted it had ‘not had a significant impact’. Why is there inequality in education, in health, in employment opportunities, in income here in Wales.
“Of course, in any analysis where there is a ‘best’ and a ‘worst’, there must be a first and last.
“However, with so many areas still languishing in or around the same positions as five, 10 or even 14 years ago, it shows that this Welsh Labour Government has not helped our people, our communities, nor our country.
“It also shows a lack of fiscal competence for squandering billions of pounds during its two decades in power on projects, and for little demonstrable effect.”