Friday, 18 March 2011

A Greenprint for the Valleys

Next Monday, I am launching 'A Greenprint for the Valleys'. The launch meeting will be held on 21st March at 7pm in Cwmaman Institute in the Cynon Valley, with Plaid Cymru’s Cynon Valley candidate, Dafydd Trystan Davies.

The Greenprint is an attempt to offer ideas which will provide solutions to the varied problems we face in the valleys from public sector cuts, high levels of unemployment, especially among young people, low skills levels as well as potential future problems like fuel and food price rises, benefit and pension cuts and the weather-related effects of climate change.

Proposals include establishing a Green Construction Skills College, implementing an integrated transport plan for the valleys, providing financial support for home energy efficiency measures and for the setting up of green co-operatives, as well as creating a land bank for renewable energy and food production and a programme to renovate heritage buildings.

Can we wake up the community spirit that was strong in the valleys during the 80s miners' strike? Can we recreate the ethos of our forefathers who built the miners’ welfare halls, the libraries, the hospitals and the workingmen's clubs in the days before the welfare state existed?

With the ConDem government in London intent upon tearing apart our hard-fought-for welfare safety-net, I hope that this consultation document will at least help to start a debate among people in the valleys about how we can use our own skills and resources to build protection against these attacks and to make sure the area has a future.

A second public meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Monday March 28th in the Soar Ffrwdamos Centre, Penygraig, Rhondda, with Plaid’s Assembly candidate Sêra Evans-Fear.

Copies of the Greenprint will be available at the public meetings and in the form of a PDF on the Plaid Cymru site from next Monday.

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