Positive news and priorities for the year ahead
The start of the new year provides us with an opportunity to assess what’s been happening in Barry and the Vale and our priorities for the year ahead.
It was great to read in the most recent performance figures that all crime is down by 10.3% across the Vale, and that the burglary of dwellings is down by a fantastic 28.6%. This highlights to me that our local police force are committed to making the Vale a safer place to live and work for us all.
I was really pleased to see that so many different types of crime have been significantly reduced, which is testament to the hard work and commitment of our local officers. I’d like to gain recognition too for the work of the Local Authority’s role in the Safer Vale Partnership who continue to strive to keep the Vale a safe place to live, work and visit.
At the end of 2011 we saw the UK Transport Minister visitng Barry to formally open the new Driving Test Centre and I’ve received some great feedback from local driving instructors who are really pleased to have a Test facility back in Barry once again. This will save significant sums of money for those learning and time to those instructing.
The UK government also promoted Enterprise Zones to help boost economic growth and I was pleased that St Athan has been nominated to be a centre of Aerospace excellence. I am hoping that we can press the Welsh Government in the new year to extend the area to include Barry – to help regenerate the area and attract new employers. The case for Barry as an Enterprise Zone is convincing, with strong support from residents and businesses alike.
I’m really optimistic for Barry in terms of the legislative changes, the economic stimulus and our prospects ahead. For the new year, we have already started, the Youth Employment Bill, enhancing opportunity for the young unemployed and the Metal Theft (Prevention) Bill regulating the dealing in scrap metal
I shall also continue to support Paul Haley, the Barry Regeneration Board and Pride in Barry as they push for a further extension to Barry’s strategic regeneration area status with accompanying funding and for the work they do is championing our town.
Barry is a wonderful town and I do hope that the Welsh Government will heed our calls and help us reinvigorate and diversify employment for Barry.