UKIP Welsh Assembly Candidate for Torfaen, Sue Boucher, criticises lack of investment and support for Pontypool Town Centre and wasteful spending on ‘art sculptures’.
The Pontypool Settlement Area project, worth £10m, had the potential to regenerate and improve Pontypool town centre, instead Sue Boucher believes the money has been squandered by the Welsh Assembly Government and Torfaen Council as businesses close due to the pressures of high rates and unaffordable rents.
Sue stated that “When you look back on how Pontypool was once a thriving bustling place, the empty shops are a sad reflection on what was once the hub of the valley. Local businesses need much greater support, those in power have got their priorities wrong”
Sue believes that the Welsh Assembly Government and local councils should be working far harder to reduce the punitive rate and rent costs which are forcing businesses to close, rather than spending £30,000 on sculpture seats which no one uses.
“When I consider the conversation that I had with a local newsagent on Saturday who is closing his business after 38 years because of the cost of his rent and rates it makes me angry. Hard working people struggling to keep a business going will I am sure prefer to have reduced rates than a sculpture that they hadn’t thought of sitting on”.