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ONE of the pressing issues in the county council elections in May will be the state of the economy.
Especially with a report this week revealing that Wales had the lowest business confidence of all the nations and regions of UK right now.
The Lloyds Commercial Bank report showed a 41% drop down to a -10% rating as regards optimism about the economy, and a 34% drop down to a -5% rating in business confidence in general here.
Although only 80 Welsh businesses were profiled as part of the survey, it does indicate the parlous state of the Welsh economy, both locally and nationally.
Gwlad Leader Gwyn Wigley Evans said the economy would be a particular theme of his candidacy for the Llanrhystyd ward on Cyngor Sir Ceredigion.
Gwlad’s prospects in the seat have been boosted following Plaid’s decision to stand aside in the ward, thus allowing their fellow nationalist party a free run for the seat.
‘Both locally and nationally, the truth of the matter is that the Plaid-Labour coalition are not pro-business’ said Mr Evans.
‘Most of them have never, will not and could not run a business-they are just bureaucrats who think filling out another form is a success’.
‘Gwlad on the other hand is very much on the side of business, especially SME, small family businesses who are struggling right now’.
Mr Evans said that Margaret Thatcher had decided to downgrade manufacturing in the 1980s and that Labour had merely carried on with that policy ever since.
But, that it needn’t be that way at all especially in a period where Wales had to re-invent itself after all the trials of Covid.
‘As a party, we would encourage locally grown businesses, and set them up in towns and villages around Wales, not just along the A55 and M4 corridor’ he said.
‘It’s not just money alone here; knowhow is what’s often needed, and we could bring in local educational authorities to encourage this element.’
He added that local councils needed to think creatively about revitalising the high street in Wales, and adopting good practice.
‘For instance, there is a thriving high street in Prestatyn in the North, and Narberth in Pembrokeshire which could be examples for other places to follow’ he said.
Mr. Evans said there was also an over-emphasis on tourism, in particular of the wrong sort which does not spend that much money locally.
‘The Wales Tourist Board just does what they are told by the British Tourist Board, with most of their budget spent on England naturally’.
‘As a party we favour a tourist tax, which is standard practice in many nations and cities across the world by now’.
It’s clear that Wales now needs radical change to deal with all our economic and social woes.
Candidates who will be knocking doors all over Wales over the next few weeks will need to inspire voters that they do have some new answers for local problems
Gwlad has candidates in Ceredigion, the Valleys and the Llanelli area, and will be making the point that our business is change, both locally and nationally.