A group of Labour AMs and MPs recently held a consultation event with local businesses, academics and residents to discuss what Caerphilly and Merthyr County Borough Councils needs from the £1.2 billion Cardiff Capital Region City Deal.

The City Deal is an initiative developed in partnership with the Welsh Government, UK Government and ten local authorities in South East Wales. The aim is to improve the economic performance of our valleys communities.

The partnership is led by a cabinet of elected representatives from the ten local authorities involved. The consultation event took place at Lewis School, Pengam and the local Labour politicians heard the views of organisations such as Nelson-based Dŵr Cymru Welsh Water; Merthyr College; General Dynamics which has bases in Oakdale and Pentrebach; Coleg y Cymoedd – which has a campus in Ystrad Mynach- and Stagecoach (South Wales) who currently provide local bus services in both County Borough areas. The event was also attended by Dr Victoria Winckler, Director of the Bevan Foundation which has its office in Merthyr Tydfil; Alun Davies AM, Minister for Lifelong Learning and the Welsh Language; and Councillor Dave Poole, Deputy Leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council.

Hefin David AM, Dawn Bowden AM, Rhianon Passmore AM, Gerald Jones MP, Wayne David MP and Chris Evans MP issued the following joint statement:

“It is vital that the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal serves both the Caerphilly and Merthyr County Borough communities.

“This event is intended to be the first stage in getting local voices heard in the development of the business case for the City Deal.

“The next step will be to consult more widely with local residents. As Labour representatives we feel that if the valleys are to gain then everyone must have a chance to express their views to the City Deal cabinet.”

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