Owen’s Pontypridd Observer column, January 2018

Readers will have seen the diggers on the move at the Taff Vale Precinct this week and it was an absolute pleasure to go and see the work get underway on Monday with our Council Leader, Andrew Morgan and my Assembly colleague, Mick Antoniw AM. People in Pontypridd know the long history of broken promises and disappointment regarding this site, as various private companies, supermarkets and others have pledged to transform it, only for their plans to fall through.

This time, though, the evidence of progress is there for people to see with their own eyes. After eighteen months of construction Pontypridd will have three new, landmark buildings, comprising world-class office accommodation for the new Transport Authority for Wales and new facilities for the local community, including a state-of-the-art gym. All told, the project will bring 850 to 1000 jobs to Ponty, a crucial step in revitalising our town as a place to live, work and shop.

The key to finally getting the project underway has been the direct intervention of our Labour Council and the Labour Welsh Government. I remind people of the fact that Labour controls both of those authorities because it is so relevant to this story. It’s a great example of how Labour continues to invest even when the Tories are cutting overall budgets from Westminster. And it’s also a great example of Labour’s belief that in the role of the state to intervene when markets are failing.

That was the case with this site – which might never have been developed if it had continued to be left in the hands of the private sector. And commuters leaving Pontypridd each morning, seeing their rail fares rising this year for the umpteenth time, know that the same is true for our railways. To fix them, as to rebuild the precinct, we need government to act on behalf of the people. Labour is committed to doing just that in RCT and across Wales and we are looking forward to winning the chance to do so across the whole of the UK.

I’m always here to help

Don’t forget that I’m always available to assist local residents across the Pontypridd constituency.  I can be contacted by calling 01443 401122, emailing [email protected] or by visiting www.owensmithmp.co.uk.  You can also keep up-to-date on my work by following me on Twitter @OwenSmith_MP and at Facebook.com/OwenSmithMP.