Wednesday, 2 January 2019

If we build it they still don't come it seems.

BBC Wales report that  Ebbw Vale  has been 'let down' as no jobs yet at £100m auto park

It has been 18 months since plans to transform Ebbw Vale into a hub for car technology were announced.
But at the site of the £100m automotive park no foundations have been laid and there is no sign of the promised jobs.
"I think it's very demoralising," said one business owner, who joined criticism of the Welsh Government's progress.
The Welsh Government said it was a 10-year scheme and the first jobs would be created in "months".
But Blaenau Gwent AM Alun Davies said if the Welsh Labour government could not bring new skills to the area it could cost them at the next election.
"We've waited for long enough. No more press releases, no more speeches, we need action... the people here need to see these promises made real,"
said Mr Davies, who was sacked from his cabinet role recently.
 Indeed Mr Davies has seemingly gone maverick since Carwyn Jones his old Aberystwyth University chum  stood down as leader 

At the last Assembly Elections Plaid almost pulled off one of the biggest shocks in Welsh Politics

Elections in the 2010s[edit]

Welsh Assembly Election 2016: Blaenau Gwent[1]
LabourAlun Davies8,44239.7−24.3
Plaid CymruNigel Copner7,79236.6+31.2
UKIPKevin Boucher3,42316.1+16.1
ConservativeTracey West1,3346.3+1
Liberal DemocratsBrendan D'Cruz3001.4−0.4
Labour holdSwing−28.0
 Since then   Nigel Copner has resigned as thee treasurer for Plaid Cymru citing threats made before his local constituency party declared support for one of Leanne Wood's leadership rivals.

However if Mr Copner, does stand again Alun Davies may be very vulnerable

The BBC continue
Announced in June 2017, the automotive technology park was seen by many as the cornerstone of a Welsh Government action plan to boost economic growth in the South Wales Valleys.
 Ministers claim the park would create 1,500 jobs by 2027, with an investment of £100m over 10 years.There had been scepticism about the viability of the scheme, given as an alternative to create jobs when the Welsh Government rejected the Circuit of Wales.Despite promising work would start by March, BBC Wales could find little evidence of any progress having been made.
A planning application for an employment unit at the Ebbw Vale site was submitted in November by the design agency Arcadis and a council report recommends approval by Blaenau Gwent councillors on Thursday.
At the Rhyd y Blew site the only hints of anything to come are a sign and some drainage work, no shovels in the ground, no buildings and no new jobs
They go on to say

......Why was Ebbw Vale chosen?

Ebbw Vale's enterprise zone has only created 179 jobs in seven years.
As the area is not known for its links to technology, we asked why the Welsh Government decided to base the new centre on the land at Rhyd Y Blew.
While plans for the Circuit of Wales had been controversial, many in the area had hoped it would replace jobs which had been lost in heavy industry in the last few decades.
We asked to see anything which informed the choice, including the due diligence report for the £100m public sector investment.
But officials said they did not have the report and referred us to a portfolio of projects. They refused to release other documents we asked for through the Freedom of Information Act.
 Mr Davies, who lost his cabinet role when new First Minister Mark Drakeford formed his government, said the scheme was a "test" of the Welsh Government's power.In charge of the Valleys' scheme taskforce, Mr Davies said while work had been done, ministers had questions to answer about why no jobs had yet been created at the park.
"I believe this has been moving too slowly for too long," said Mr Davies.He said if no-one else would, he would "knock heads together" as the local AM to make progress."The market is not going to deliver for us, so the government must," he said.
But the Welsh Government said it was a 10-year investment, which would make the area a "globally recognised centre for the development and delivery of emerging technologies".
It said it was working closely with partners to develop a long-term strategy to tackle economic challenges, and an advisory group had met.
"In this opening period of the programme our focus is squarely on investing in infrastructure and the refurbishment of land and property to provide the modern industrial units that will attract new businesses," a spokeswoman said.
"Indeed, we are currently finalising planning for a raft of property projects and expect the first construction jobs associated with the project to be created in the coming months."
So Alun Davies seems to be blaming  the current Welsh Government  for the failures  , when he was part of the Cabinet  as Secretary for Local Government and Public Services, Alun Davies AM and Chair Valleys' scheme taskforce.

Perhaps he should , start by acknowledging his own failings and taking some of the Blame, but then humility was never one of his strong points.

But it appears we that the whole sad story is part of decades of Welsh Labour's failure  to create jobs in the most deprived parts of Wales. Instead from both the government in Westminster and Cardiff Bay we have grandiose  , plans that never deliver which I have described as Potemkin Villages.

 The phrase "Potemkin village" (also "Potyomkin village", derived from the RussianПотёмкинские деревниPotyomkinskiye derevni) was originally used to describe a fake portable village, built only to impress. According to the story, Grigory Potemkin erected the fake portable settlement along the banks of the Dnieper River in order to fool Empress Catherine II during her journey to Crimea in 1787. The phrase is now used, typically in politics and economics, to describe any construction (literal or figurative) built solely to deceive others into thinking that some situation is better than it really is. 

We  clearly need a new Welsh Government and approach , which promotes existing  local companies but rexamine the case for a  a corporation and federation of worker cooperatives based in the Basque country.

Mondragon Co-operative Corporation
Worker cooperative federation
FounderJosé María Arizmendiarrieta
Area served
Key people
Iñigo Ucín (president of the General Council)
Revenue€ 12.110 billion (2015)[1]
Total assets€ 24.725 billion (2014)[2]
Number of employees
74,335 (2015)[3]
DivisionsFinance, Industry, Retail, Knowledge

But this will need ambition and daring. Can Plaid provide it I wonder?

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