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Bevan Foundation sets out manifesto for valleys resilience

December 21st 2020

Eight point plan outlines actions to transform the valleys

Valleys manifesto

The Bevan Foundation has launched its manifesto for the valleys. Ahead of the Senedd 2021 elections, Transforming the valleys: a manifesto for resilience, outlines a bold and ambitious vision for action. It calls for a sea-change in approach taken to developing the area which continues to face deeply entrenched challenges.

Making the case for accelerated job creation, the report says that there is a jobs deficit in the valleys well in excess of 100,000 that has developed over generations. It argues that commuting is not a viable way of meeting jobs needs because Cardiff, Newport and Swansea do not have the capacity to create jobs on the scale required. Compared to other coalfield areas of the UK, the valleys have the additional complication of their geography which make travelling in the area more difficult.

Speaking about the challenge, Dr Victoria Winckler, Director of the Bevan Foundation said:

 “Concerted action to address the jobs deficit in the valleys is long overdue. Successive government programmes have lacked the vision and scale needed to turn around   the valleys’ fortunes. Every area of Wales faces challenges, but none has experienced them to the same scale and persistence.”

The paper sets out an eight-point action plan to transform the valleys. Highlights include a Valleys Jobs Incentive, a grant equivalent to the employer’s National Insurance contribution, for new, permanent, decent jobs created in “heads and the hearts” of the valleys.  The paper also urges the Welsh Government to designate the heads of the valleys as a new town, to bring in much-needed new jobs, homes and facilities. And it urges a new Community Rights Act that would provide communities with the opportunity to control and protect assets where they live.

Dr Winckler added;

“Coalfield communities in the UK and around the world have forged new paths and developed new narratives and futures. With political will and delivery that works, there’s every reason the valleys can too.”

This work was kindly supported by the Friends Provident Foundation

Download the paper here

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