8 News Rural Wales ‘leſt further behind’

(£11.68m) and Dwyfor Meirionnydd (£10.8m). The constituency receiving the most funding for major projects this year is Ceredigion, with £20.9m. Mr Price, Plaid Cymru’s Shadow

Cabinet Secretary for Economy, Business and Finance, recently led negotiations with the Welsh Government and secured £50 million for a much-awaited bypass around Llandeilo. He said the time had come to

rebalance the great divide before rural Wales is left further behind, and pledged to be ‘a thorn in the government’s side’ to get more investment for the mid and west region. Mr Price said: “Whichever

Not in Carmarthen East: Welsh Government allots £60,000 of large project infrastructure spend to constituency


has been accused of leaving rural Wales behind, after it was revealed that the Mid and West region was due to receive just 5% of Wales’ major infrastructure funding in 2016-17. The region covers eight

parliamentary constituencies and is home to 19% of Wales’ population. Information obtained from the Welsh Government by Carmarthen East and Dinefwr AM Adam Price indicates that Mid and West Wales constituencies, despite being home to 18.6% of the country’s population, will receive £59.87m for major projects on 2016-17 – less than half of what the South Wales Central region will receive, and around a quarter of the amount granted for South Wales East. Removal of expenditure on projects

which the Welsh Government classifies as an ‘All Wales’ investment will still see Mid and West communities receive just 10.1% of expenditure for 2016/17 – just over half of what the population share

Jon Coles Deputy Editor

would demand. Over the previous four years, the

region will have received £292 million of the nation’s £2.3 billion expenditure on major infrastructure projects, with the Carmarthen East and Dinefwr constituency receiving the lowest level of investment of the eight constituencies which make up the Mid and West Wales region.

Breaking the funding down into constituencies, while Carmarthen East and Dinefwr receives the least investment by some margin (£60,000). Neighbouring constituencies Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire and Llanelli both fare better, receiving £5.75m and £6.7m respectively. £3.87m will be spent on major projects in Preseli Pembrokeshire, a sum which is dwarfed by the money pledged to Brecon and Radnorshire

calculations we use – per head of population, share of population or total overall expenditure – we see that Mid and West Wales is not receiving a fair and equal share of investment in major infrastructure projects, classified as major for costing greater than £500,000. “Infrastructure investment provides

a much needed stimulus, creating the conditions for increased growth and makes a significant contribution to the long term economic, social and environmental well-being of people and communities. “The virtues of investment are

recognised by the Welsh Government but, regrettably, the level of that investment has resulted in a great divide amongst our communities with, unsurprisingly, the south and south east of Wales doing better than the rest. Plaid Cymru wants the whole of

Wales to benefit from major public investments. “My party’s recent success in

negotiating the finance for transport projects like the Llandeilo bypass will no doubt change the investment figures in years to come, but we are not starting from the same point. “The time has come to tip the balance

in favour of the mid and west before rural Wales is left further behind, and I intend being a thorn in the government’s side to see that the mid and west benefits more.

PEMBROKESHIRE COUNTY “The great divide in infrastructure

investment is undoubtedly a factor in the prosperity gap which exists between Welsh communities. “The inequality of investment

is indefensible and needs changing urgently.”

However, Mid and West Labour

AM Eluned Morgan argued that the raw data for one year could be misleading: “I think it can be misleading to take a snapshot of infrastructure spending for just one year as a measure of investment, because major projects take a long time to develop,” she told The Herald. “There’s also the impact of spending in one part of the country on another – take transport, for example. If there’s a blockage in East Wales, there is no way to reach West Wales, so it is important to address the whole route into Mid and West Wales, not just focus on local areas.” “It’s clear as I go around the

region that what works as an economic model nearer the bigger cities is not necessarily the right model for more rural communities. That includes what the right infrastructure for each area is too. I’ve been discussing with those I meet - members of our communities, local businesses, councillors - what a bespoke model for our region might look like. I’m chairing an Economic Development Forum in a few weeks time. As a new Assembly Member, I can take a fresh look at the issues so that we can come up with an approach that has, at its heart, what works for an outlying, largely rural community such as West Wales. “It is important that we fight for

our corner in terms of infrastructure expenditure, but I do hope we can do this on a cost-benefit approach and not an approach which simply responds to the person who shouts loudest.” The Herald asked the Welsh

Government to find out what the largest infrastructure project not covered by the All Wales expenditure was in each of the Mid and West constituencies, but had received no response at the time of going to press.

New school consultation

COUNCIL is consulting on its 2018- 19 admission arrangements for local schools. The consultation affects all

schools apart from the nine Voluntary Aided (V.A.) primary schools, where admissions are run by the school’s governing body. Otherwise, the County Council

is the admissions authority, and the admission arrangements represent the council’s policy. The proposed admission arrangements for 2018-19 can be viewed on the council’s website at haveyoursay. The document includes, among other matters: •

The dates by which applications have to be made;

• •

The admission numbers of each V.C. and Community School in Pembrokeshire;

The oversubscription criteria. The document proposes some

significant changes in relation to the oversubscription criteria.

criteria proposed in the 2018-19 document will provide a fairer means of determining oversubscribed school places. The closing date for responses is

Friday, February 10. Anyone interested in the

admissions arrangements are encouraged to give their views, particularly parents of prospective new pupils. If you want to participate in the

consultation, please contact Huw Jones, Professional Officer, by emailing educationconsultations@ or by calling 01437 764551. Alternatively, please write to Huw Jones, Professional Officer, Planning Places and Admissions, County Hall, Haverfordwest, SA61 1TP.

The current criteria have been in

place for some time and it has become apparent in recent years that they no longer fully address the range of issues presented by parents as part of the admissions process. It is considered that the new


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Warrant is issued

for homeless man A WARRANT for the arrest

of Jonathan Bradley was issued at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Jan 10). Te defendant, who has no fixed

abode, is alleged to have failed to attend probation appointments while on his suspended sentence. Magistrates issued a warrant without bail for Bradley’s arrest.

Cardigan defendant

denies drug driving A CARDIGAN man denied

driving while under the influence of two drugs when he appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Jan 10). Fraser Rees, aged 39, of St Mary

Street, pleaded not guilty to the two offences which are alleged to have occurred November 14, 2016 in Cardigan. He is said to have driven his vehicle

while there was 6.9mcg of Delta- 9-Tetrahydrocannabinol (the active ingredient in cannabis) and 62mcg of Benzoylecgonine (the main metabolite of cocaine) in a litre of his blood, exceeding the prescribed legal limits. Rees will return to the court for his trial on February 20.

Warrant issued for

no show defendant A WARRANT for the arrest

of James Toulouse was issued at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Jan 10) after he failed to appear before the bench. The 25-year-old, from Clarence

Street in Pembroke Dock, is alleged to have been in possession of 5.2g of cannabis in Pembroke Dock on November 24, 2016.

Assault is denied by

Fishguard defendant A WOMAN from Fishguard

denied assaulting a woman in Haverfordwest when she appeared before a court this week. Donna Butler, aged 43, of Morfa

Las, pleaded not guilty to an assault charge, which is alleged to have occurred on June 29, 2016, at Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Jan 10).

Prisoner denies driving

while he was disqualified A MAN from Lancashire

appeared before Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday (Jan 10) via video link from prison. Daniel William Austin Ward, of

Preston, denied two charges in relation to driving. The 30-year-old pleaded not guilty to driving while disqualified and to driving without third party insurance. Magistrates heard that Ward would

be in custody until Friday (Jan 13) and ordered him to attend Haverfordwest Magistrates’ Court a month later for his trial.

Ward will reappear before the bench on Monday, February 13.

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