• Letter responding to Chris Holley-Labour’s interest end in South East

    Following the publication of a letter by Mr Chris Holley “Labour’s interest end in South East” commenting on Labour’s track record in South West Wales, some fellow Labour AMs and myself felt that we deserved a right of reply. We have therefore drafted the letter below and would appreciate it if you would publish this in response to Mr Holley’s letter:

    In his letter (South Wales Evening Post, December 1st) Chris Holley impudently claims that Labour’s interest in Wales ends in the South East of Wales and Cardiff.

    Mr Holley needs a quick fact check-perhaps we can remind him that thanks to the Welsh Labour Government, the Swansea Bay region has undergone much-needed improvements to its transport, education and tourism facilities.

    Unlike his Party that propped up the Tory Government for five austerity driven years, the Welsh Labour Government has remained committed to working for all the people of Wales.

    The Tory Prime Minister and Chancellor have both repeatedly claimed the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon, rail electrification and the protection of the UK’s steel industry were priorities, but this has sadly proven to be nothing more than meaningless rhetoric.

    But Labour has delivered for South West Wales- From investment into ABMU services to the new state-of-the-art Swansea Bay University campus (which is estimated to introduce £3bn into the local economy), UWTSD development at SA1, the major redevelopment of Neath Town Centre, the investment in the 21st Century Schools Project, the investment in the 21st Century Schools Project, and the cap on charges for home care. The benefits of the Welsh Labour Government in South West Wales is clear for all to see.

    Welsh Labour Government has worked for the people of South West Wales from cradle to career. Though times are tough and funding is tight, the Welsh Labour Government is committed to supporting our people.

    Thanks to our Free Breakfasts in Primary Schools scheme, a nutritious free school breakfast is available to every young person in a primary school who wants one. Through the Jobs Growth Wales scheme launched in April 2012, the Welsh Labour Government has created over 2,000 meaningful jobs for young people aged 16-24 in the area.

    South West Wales, like the rest of the country, continues to benefit from EU investment and nearly 3,000 jobs have been created in Swansea, more than 1,100 have been created in Neath Port Talbot while almost 30,000 participants have gained qualifications thanks to European money, backed by the Welsh Government, across the region.

    There are also a series of exciting plans in the pipeline for the region, which would see Singleton Hospital develop into a centre of excellence for diagnostic and same-day care, and Morriston Hospital double in size and become a regional centre for specialist treatments. This transformation of hospital services will revolutionise the treatment patients in Swansea and the South West receive.

    The Swansea Bay City Region, headed by Sir Terry Matthews again with Welsh Government support, has an ambitious programme to work towards a common goal of creating economic prosperity for the people who live and work in our City Region.

    The list goes on and there is no doubting that the Welsh Labour Government has had a positive impact on the people of South West Wales. As we move towards the Fifth Assembly, it is clear that Wales will continue to thrive only under a Welsh Labour Government.

    Signed by Welsh Labour AMs:  Julie James (Swansea West), Mike Hedges (Swansea East), David Rees (Aberavon), Edwina Hart (Gower), Gwenda Thomas (Neath), Rebecca Evans AM, Labour Welsh Assembly candidate for Gower and Jeremy Miles Labour Welsh Assembly candidate for Neath.