A group of Labour AMs and MPs recently held a consultation event with local businesses and workers on the benefits they want to see from the £1.2 billion Cardiff Capital Region City Deal.
An integrated transport system, better supply links between smaller and larger firms, and a need to concentrate on the growth of indigenous local businesses were all key themes to have come out of the meeting.
The Cardiff Capital Region City Deal will see £734 million invested in the South Wales Metro transport scheme and £495m on other projects.
The deal, which brings together ten local authorities, is expected to deliver up to 25,000 new jobs and bring in an additional £4bn of private sector investment.
The aim is to improve the economic performance of Valleys communities and is a joint scheme between the Welsh Government and UK Government.
The consultation event took place at Lewis School, Pengam, on and was organised by Hefin David AM, Dawn Bowden AM, Rhianon Passmore AM, Gerald Jones MP, Wayne David MP and Chris Evans MP.
They heard the views of organisations such as Nelson-based D?r Cymru Welsh Water; Merthyr College; General Dynamics which has bases in Oakdale and Pentrebach; Hawker Sidley Switchgear of Blackwood; Coleg y Cymoedd, which has a campus in Ystrad Mynach, and bus compant Stagecoach.
In a joint statement, the county borough’s three AMs and three MPs, said: “It is vital that the Cardiff Capital Region City Deal serves both the Caerphilly and Merthyr Tydfil 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.”
The City Deal cabinet is made up of elected representatives from the ten local authorities involved.
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 Cllr Dave Poole, deputy leader of Caerphilly County Borough Council.
The ten local authorities in the scheme are Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Cardiff, Merthyr Tydfil, Monmouthshire, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Torfaen, Vale of Glamorgan.