Plaid Cymru has urged the Secretary of State for Wales to use his speech at the Conservative Party Conference to deliver a City Deal for Swansea.
The UK Government had been expected to announce a City Deal for Swansea in the UK Chancellor’s Budget statement but failed to do so. Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthenshire, Jonathan Edwards, has called on the Secretary of State for Wales to use his conference speech to make the announcement.
The UK Chancellor, Phillip Hammond, wrote to Mr Edwards following an exchange in the House of Commons, suggesting that the City Deal will be announced after the local election “purdah period”, which begins next week for some of the local authorities in the region.
The Carmarthen East & Dinefwr MP warned Mr Hammond that delaying the announcement until councils are in purdah could force the four local authorities in the region to go through the entire democratic and legal process again, causing significant delays and risking the hundreds of millions of pounds of private investment previously secured.
Commenting ahead of the Conservative Conference in Cardiff, Plaid Cymru MP for Carmarthen East and Dinefwr, Jonathan Edwards, said:
“It is a matter of urgency that the Secretary of State for Wales fully commits to the Swansea City Deal. He has an opportunity this weekend to do so in his speech to his party’s conference in Cardiff.
“As I have already told the UK Chancellor, delaying the City Deal to the end of March when local authorities will have entered the election period could force the four authorities in the region to have to go through the entire democratic and legal process all over again, causing significant delays and risk the hundreds of millions of pounds of private investment which has already been secured.
“The City Deal could deliver 10,000 high value jobs to the region and create business opportunities that simply do not exist at the moment in Wales. Multinational companies such as Microsoft, Siemens and Fujitsu are planning to invest in the region but the UK Government is dragging its feet.
“The people I represent have continually seen investment being ploughed into the capital city, but now four local authorities of different political colours have come together along with the Welsh Government and significant private sector support, to deliver this potentially transformational project but Westminster is a bottleneck in the system.
“The Secretary of State has a chance this weekend to finally let this project go ahead and I urge him to take his chance and not delay it any further.”