Politicians angry over funding blow

OPPOSITION politicians in the Vale have reacted angrily to the Welsh Government's announcement that 11 authorities will gain regeneration funding while Barry gets none.

Welsh Government minister Carl Sargeant announced up to £100million funding under the Vibrant and Viable Places scheme.

The Vale Council’s bid for Barry failed to pass stage one.

Vale MP Alun Cairns, Conservative, said: “ Pride in Barry highlighted a shortfall of £17.7million from the money the Welsh Government would have received from the sale of land at Barry Waterfront. We seem to be subsidising these other areas.

“To announce these generous grants to other areas is a slap in the face to Barry. The Vale of Glamorgan gets nothing and for too long Barry and Vale have been taken for granted.

“The Welsh Government and Assembly Members need to be accountable for their lack of support. In previous schemes the Vale of Glamorgan has delivered significantly but we need to be able pump prime projects to gain a long-term regeneration plan.

“The question needs to be asked whether it was the quality of the bid or the Welsh Government not looking at the town’s needs. With proposals that the Vale could merge with Cardiff Council I ask what hope we would have in the future of being more than a subsidiary of the capital?

“The generous spending on other areas also compounds the underfunding received by the Vale. We need a fair funding settlement.”

Vale-based resident Andrew RT Davies AM, Conservative, said the announcement was a “kick in the teeth for Barry.”

He said: “Having lost its regeneration status, much of the good work done in recent years to restore the area is now in danger of unravelling. We now need to see greater leadership and direction from Lis Burnett, the cabinet member with responsibility for regeneration.

“The decision by the Welsh Labour Government to strip Barry of its regeneration status has been a huge blow, but questions must also be asked of the quality and depth of the Vale Council’s application for funding under the new scheme. Local businesses need answers and I have requested a copy of this application from the Labour council.”

Vale Council, cabinet member for regeneration, Lis Burnett, Labour, said: "I’m not sure where Mr Davies has been since the Welsh Government’s initial announcement in September but we have wasted no time in taking forward our comprehensive plans for regenerating Barry. While the exciting developments on Barry Island have been progressing we have been working towards delivering a positive future for the town with recent progress on developing the Pumphouse, launching an enterprise bursary scheme and delivering the Island road ahead of schedule..”

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