Latest Public Sector News

12.07.12

City regions for Cardiff and Swansea recommended

A city region approach should be implemented in Wales, with two areas identified in the south-east and Swansea, a new report recommends.

The City Regions Task and Finish Group has called for the creation of Cardiff City Region and Swansea Bay City Region to drive economic growth and deliver more jobs in Wales.

These areas would cover two thirds of the total population ofWalesand respond to challenges in skills, infrastructure and innovation to boost the economy. The main drivers identified in the report are to improve the planning system, connectivity and drive investment.

The Cardiff City Region, would cover Cardiff, Bridgend, the Vale of Glamorgan, Newport and the Valleys. The Swansea Bay City Region would cover Swansea, Neath Port Talbot and Carmarthenshire.

The report gave 22 recommendations, including housing strategy and planning to be organised at a city region level, the establishment of a passenger transport executive and the establishment of collaborative arrangements between the two city regions to avoid unproductive rivalry.

Business minister Edwina Hart said: “A ‘city region’ approach is not the only approach towards spatial economic development that I am exploring. Tailoring how we support jobs and growth to the different economic circumstances ofWalesis a priority for me.

“However, we cannot deny the importance of our cities – global trends show increasing urbanisation andWalesis very much a part of that. If there is an opportunity to take advantage of this to promote jobs and growth inWales– then I will do so.”

Chair of the task group, Dr Elizabeth Haywood, said: “Using the city region focus for economic policy, while not a panacea, does, I believe, offer a way out of recession.

“It can help deliver a step-change by creating a better planning system, better transport connections, a better match of skills to work, and a more attractive investment proposition.

“If we fail to take advantage of the critical mass offered by our city regions, or to unleash their innovative and productive capacity, our home-grown prospects will shrivel and external investors will lose interest.”

To view the report, visit: http://wales.gov.uk/docs/det/publications/120710cityregionsfinalrpten.pdf

Tell us what you think – have your say below, or email us directly at opinion@publicsectorexecutive.com

Image c. Chris Bewick

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