Plaid councillor’s concern over deprivation levels in Caerphilly


Plaid Cymru ward councillor Lynne Hughes has spoken about her concerns about deprivation levels in the Lansbury Park area of Caerphilly.

Councillor Hughes, who represents the St James ward, was speaking after the Welsh Index of Multiple Deprivation (WIMD) for 2011 rated the Lansbury Park area the second most deprived in Wales after an area in Rhyl.

Lynne Hughes said: “I am deeply concerned at the news. However, we need to remember that the WIMD is a measure of relative deprivation so a change in ranking of one area may be just because another area has changed their position rather that St James becoming more deprived.

“What I do know though is that St James 3 area, which includes Lansbury Park, has been one of the county's most deprived areas in 2005, 2008 and now in 2011.                 

“The main policy areas that have an impact on poverty and deprivation are at Westminster and National Assembly level. It is clear that the root causes of deprivation ; unemployment or very low paid work, chronic ill-health, poor skill levels have not been addressed by the previous Labour Governments and current Coalition Government in Westminster nor by the Labour-led Governments in Wales.

There have been many initiatives to address the root causes of deprivation but they are not having the impact they should, particularly in Lansbury Park.

“This area has long been represented by the Labour Party at Westminster and Cardiff. They have clearly let down the people in these communities as they have many other Valley areas.”

The Plaid councillor said that the building of a new school and integrated children's centre at St James Primary,  will provide state of the art education facilities and family support will help children from the area have the best start in life.  “The Plaid-led council has also recognised the tremendous strain on household incomes at present with higher food, energy and fuel charges by freezing council tax this year and the aim is to do the same in 2012.”

Councillor Hughes has asked council leader Allan Pritchard to arrange for the issue to be discussed at a Cabinet level as soon as possible.