Two important messages for the future of the South Wales Valleys will be shared by Kevin Morgan, from the University’s School of Planning and Geography at the 2012 Keir Hardie public lecture in Aberdare this Friday.
"The city region idea needs to be embraced more forcefully by the whole region because the valleys and the city share the same fate" claims Morgan, who was on a Welsh Government Task Force that called for two city regions to be established in Wales to address the problems of economic decline.
The proposed city regions are in and around Cardiff and Swansea Bay and each city region is designed to strengthen the area as a whole by improving, among other things, access to the city from the surrounding areas for employment, shopping and leisure; promoting cross-border collaboration for issues such as planning, transport and housing; and enhancing the attractions of the areas to potential investors. It is this approach which has proven successful in attracting retailers like John Lewis to South Wales.
Morgan will also explain the need for "more investment in the heads of the valleys and more training opportunities for semi-skilled people because there is a distance decay effect in all city-regions, which means that the areas further away from the city get the least benefit."
The annual lecture honours James Keir Hardie, described as "a decisive figure in the making of twentieth century Britain". In 2010, the lecture was given by David Miliband MP and in 2008 by The Rt. Hon. Clare Short.
The lecture is open to all (although places are limited) and will be delivered on Friday 23rd November at the Green Street Methodist Church Hall in Aberdare from 7pm. For tickets, £5 or £4 concessions, email: alunwms [a] hotmail (p) com