Friday, 3 September 2010

Assembly will not help Swansea - exclusive

The leader of Swansea Council  has appealed to Vince Cable for help because he claims that 'our devolved Government in Wales will not help us in Swansea.'
He makes the astonishing claim that Swansea is not given adequate help because 'the current administration in Cardiff does not need to worry about winning seats in the city when you look at the last general election figures they retained 3  seats and they will be the same in the elections for the Welsh Assembly next year.'
This  frank admission that his party will not win seats in the Assembly election is likely to dismay many party workers in the area.
Earlier in the letter he talks about the likely effect the forthcoming budget, the letter was written on the 16th June,  would have on jobs in Swansea 'because of the amount of jobs which are in the public sector 38%....'
He goes on to point out that the city centre has had 'no investment by the private sector for the last 30 years.' Because of this '40 per cent of residents will travel to Cardiff to do some shopping.' All this puts his 'administration in a very difficult position...'
So he appeals to Cable to allow them to create in the docks area a 'tax free zone which would see the area turned into an exchange zone for the Western part of the country and for Ireland.'
What seems interesting about this leaked letter is the paranoia that comes across in its content. There is a sense that the world is against Swansea and that only Vince Cable can come to the rescue. It gives an interesting insight as to how some leading Liberal Democrats would seek to gain some advantage from having their party in government.
I doubt if his fellow Liberal Democrats will want to see his views made public.  His acknowledgement that his party has  little chance of winning Swansea West in the forthcoming Assembly elections  will go down like a cold cup of sick amongst party activists. This seat was one of their target seats and in the last Assembly elections they came second to Labour.  They need to overcome a majority of 1,511 not an impossible task in a good year one would think. Councillor Holley is admitting that next year will not be a good year for his party.
Here is a copy of the letter. It would be interesting to know how Vince Cable responded.

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