Former Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain has criticised the Westminster Government for failing to help the valleys communities in South Wales.
Mr Hain was speaking after the release of a publication by Sheffield Hallam University and Coalfield’s Regeneration Trust called “The State of the Coalfields” which claims that South Wales is suffering a disproportionate level of deprivation due to a lack of funding from central government.
The report concluded that the South Wales coal belt was lagging behind the regeneration of other former industrial centres such as Durham, with 17% of people unemployed on average throughout the South Wales Valleys.
The MP for Neath said, “the Valley communities I represent are crying out for Westminster Government investment to create jobs and growth, yet all they get is more and more austerity.”
“This program of cuts and carelessness will be repeated for another five years if the Conservatives get re-elected because that is what they have promised.”
“Since Mrs Thatcher closed all those mines in the 1980s, our Valleys have been fighting to get respect from the Tories.”
“I therefore welcome the publication of “The State of the Coalfields” report, it paints a stark picture of the employment shortfall in coalfield areas, as well as the struggles communities face with a legacy ill of health and disabilities.”
“When the Government crows about recovery they are ignoring large parts of the UK which have not recovered from the hit of the latest recession, this message must be driven home.”
“Last week we saw the Oxfam Breadline report which highlighted the food poverty that is having a devastating effect on local communities throughout Britain.”