Neath Needs the European Union

Former Secretary of State for Wales Peter Hain MP has issued a rallying call to the electorate in Neath, asking them to trust in Labour and the European Union.

Mr Hain made his comments after Neath Port Talbot County Borough Council today issued new images detailing the next phase of the town’s redevelopment which is part funded by the Welsh Government and EU JESSICA fund.

He said: “It is very encouraging to see the redevelopment taking shape, over the next eighteen months Neath is finally going to get the investment that it deserves and it could not have happened without the combined efforts of Labour in Cardiff and in Brussels to secure the money needed.”

He went on to say: “Now, the Welsh Government are leading the way for us, Neath is the first town to benefit from the Regeneration Investment Fund for Wales, this will see approximately £13 million invested in Neath.”

The redevelopment has proven a controversial topic in the town with many residents growing frustrated after a number of delays since its first announcement in 2008.

Mr Hain combatted this by saying, “we went through a global recession, it was unfortunate timing but it caused everyone to reassess their financial priorities. The reality is without the combined actions of the EU and Welsh Assembly we would have been stranded, left utterly high and dry by a Westminster Government who have no interest in rewarding Welsh tax payers, and taking care of Welsh people.”

“In May we saw just how frustrated people were with the political class, in Neath we saw a small, but significant majority of people voice this frustration by voting for UKIP.”

“The evidence is clear, Neath needs the European Union, UKIP risks years of hard work by Labour Assembly members, and our MEP Derek Vaughan to fill in the deficit gap which the Tory Lib-Dem government constantly leaves us in.”

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‘WORLD CLASS’ NEW SWANSEA BAY CAMPUS SAYS HAIN

Neath MP Peter Hain has said today that the new Swansea University Bay Campus is ‘world class’.

After visiting the site he praised the speedy way in which the new buildings were being built.

‘They are rising phoenix like.  The Speed of construction is incredible,’ he said.

The former secretary of State for Wales was involved in negotiations to get backing from the Welsh Government when he was in office and at one point warned BP who contributed £10 million toward the campus might pull their funding because of the multi-billion cost of the company’s Gulf of Mexico disaster at Deepwater Horizon Oil rig

The new £450 million, 65 acre Science, Innovation and Engineering Campus includes an extensive College Engineering quarter and will bring an economic impact of £3billion over 10 years.

‘The new Campus is world class – probably the best in Britain and one of the best across the world.  I was enormously impressed and excited to see the pace of development with students being admitted from autumn next year,’ said Mr Hain.

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Hain welcomes State of the Coalfields Report

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.”

Hain condemns ‘astonishing’ decision to remove phones from Ystradgynlais Jobcentre

Neath MP Peter Hain has attacked Iain Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, following the removal of the telephones from Ystradgynlais Jobcentre. In a move he called ‘astonishing’ Mr Hain has demanded that the phones be returned to the Jobcentre as they are ‘a lifeline to many in the community’.

The phones were removed at the beginning of May and in a letter to the Secretary of State the Neath MP said, ‘this is a vital service for jobseekers and people on benefits needing to call the help lines when they do not have access to a phone or cannot afford to call the 0845 numbers that are being used.

‘This will have a hugely negative impact on those already struggling to make ends meet by making it more and more difficult to speak with an official for the help they need. It will further compound problems for people fighting to find work in a fiercely competitive jobs market and who use the phones when looking and applying for jobs.

‘How are people supposed to actively look for work or get help if something has gone wrong with their benefits if facilities like these are taken away? The remote location of the communities Ystradgynlais Jobcentre serves means the phone lines are a lifeline to many in the community.’

Earlier in the year Mr Hain condemned the decision to remove the telephones from Neath Jobcentre and speaking against the DWP decision he said, ‘this is clearly a cost cutting exercise at whatever cost to the public. People are being prevented from accessing the kind of advice and assistance they need to get and are entitled to

“The benefits system is a nightmarish one of complexity and ambiguity. If you deprive claimants of person-to-person contact and force everyone to go online, it’s a recipe for disaster.

“There are fewer and fewer staff to deal even with those claimants able to go online, while there are many especially older clients who are not. This will simply lead to chaos and misery.”

Big Boost to Local Businesses

The government has announced today that Neath will continue to enjoy the benefits of its Assisted Area status after a substantial review of the program by the government.

In news released from the Minister of State for Business and Enterprise Michael Fallon MP, the businesses in the town will be able to apply for government subsidies at a reduced rate in an effort to balance the national economy.

The final map for Assisted Areas will be confirmed in July, it currently gives AA status to many constituencies within Wales and confirms that they will continue to receive the status until at least 2020.

Neath constituency MP Peter Hain said of the news: “This is very welcome and I hope it will provide much needed assistance to many of our local businesses and entrepreneurs who are doing everything they can to get business in the local area growing.”

“Over the past few months we have seen some amazing progress made by the likes of South Wales Transport as well as the successes of heavy manufacturing which is still at the heart of much of Neath and this part of South Wales.”

“I have been in regular contact with the Chamber of Trade for the town and feel very good about its economic future, there is a long way to go yet but together we are moving in the right direction.”

 

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