Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Transformational year ahead for Wrexham town centre

Plaid Cymru councillors in Wrexham are pushing for greater local procurement and support for the town centre from both the Welsh Government and local council in the coming year.

Cllr Marc Jones said:
"My ward includes a large part of the town centre, so I particularly am looking forward to 2018 as a transformational year. There are a number of high-profile projects coming together that I hope will see the town centre, which has struggled over recent years, take a step change that's desperately needed.
"The ICE project, Ty Pawb, a revamp for the Butchers' Market and ambitious plans to renovate some of our best historic buildings in the town centre are all in the pipeline. There's also encouraging talk of re-opening key stores in the Henblas Square area as well as an improving independent shop sector.
"There's still a huge amount to do of course - the town is not alone in struggling to cope with growing pressure from out-of-town and online shopping. But local businesses, the council and Welsh Government all have a key part to play in ensuring a bright future for the town.
"The council, specifically, can help by doing what it urges others to do - shop local wherever possible. Council procurement through tenders and contracts a worth millions of pounds every year but too much of that money goes out of county rather than being kept within Wales. 
 "The Welsh Government should also be rebalancing the Welsh economy to ensure this part of Wales gets its fair share of public spending. Expanding business rate relief for smaller businesses is a must because high rates continue to clobber many town-centre businesses. 
"I don't expect much of this dreadful UK Government, which continues to do so much harm to the Wrexham economy, but it can reverse decisions such as the closure of the HMRC office and keeping hundreds of jobs in the local area rather than moving them to Bootle and Cardiff."

Plaid Cymru urges long-term support for high streets

Plaid Cymru generally is urging Welsh shoppers to support their high streets all year round and back their local traders. 
The party’s Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Adam Price said that supporting local businesses was crucial to keeping wealth locally and creating jobs.
However, he said that the Welsh Government should do far more to support businesses by giving permanent business rate relief to more businesses, and giving more public sector contracts to smaller local firms.
Plaid Cymru Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Economy and Infrastructure Adam Price said:
“Christmas shopping gives us a perfect opportunity to support local businesses but it’s important that we remember to also show our support throughout the year.“As shoppers, we have enormous buying power. Every £1 we spend in a local shop is worth 63p to the local economy and small firms generate 58% more economic benefit for local economies than large firms.“But the onus isn’t all on us as shoppers; the Welsh Government should be leading on this and could do much more to support Welsh businesses.“Plaid Cymru wants to see the Welsh Government introduce permanent business rate relief for 90,000 small businesses – 20,000 more than the Welsh Government is offering – and we want to give more public sector contracts to local business. At the moment Welsh Government says 50% of £6 billion public procurement is sourced from Welsh Companies – we’d like to see that increased to 75%, putting another £1.5bn into the pockets of Welsh companies.“We’d like to see the Welsh Development Bank given an extra £500 million to plug the funding gap – using the Financial Transaction monies recently transferred from Westminster, and seed the development of a new network of community banks on our high streets.“Let’s make it our new year’s resolution to show our local traders how much we value them, and support them as much as we can in 2018.”

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