Looking at our local economy and jobs – an update
Speaking up for DWP jobs in Merthyr Tydfil
Gerald had the opportunity this week to speak in the House of Commons and challenge the UK Government to recognise the importance of DWP jobs to Merthyr Tydfil High Street and the shops in the town.
As Merthyr Tydfil and Rhymney’s AM and MP, Dawn and Gerald have worked alongside the PCS union to try and keep these jobs in Merthyr. The Government’s plans are currently still to move the DWP branch to a single new centre in Treforest, which would shift vital jobs from across the valleys communities to one centre.
Gerald and Dawn’s campaign to change their minds and keep these vital jobs local goes on.
We met with Victoria and Helen at the Bevan Foundation to discuss their current project on the economic resilience of the South Wales Valleys. The conversation highlighted a number of themes that are of joint interest around procurement, retaining incomes within communities, community safety and resilience, employment and training in health and care services, adult education and lifelong learning plus much more.
Elite Paper Solutions
We were pleased that Welsh Economy Minister Lee Waters AM visited Elite Paper Solutions on the industrial estate in Pentrebach.
Our economy and the environment
There were declarations about a climate emergency by the Welsh Government, UK Parliament and National Assembly for Wales this week. You can read the report of the Committee on Climate Change here.
Our focus as the local AM and MP is on the practical implications of this declaration, and we will be questioning both the UK and Welsh Governments about the implications of the commitments now made to taking action on climate change.
The wider economy
It’s been interesting to read news about the wider economy over the past few weeks. Looking ahead, the Governor of the Bank England has spoken about the possibility of interest rate rises in the coming years.
One feature of the UK economy for around a decade now has been low interest rates – i.e. below 1%. This, in ways, reflects continuing weaknesses in the economy, but the implications of any future rate rises will influence government economic decisions.
The recent employment figures have been positive, but the problems of low pay and insecurity remain. In real terms, rates of pay remain below those before the 2008 financial crisis.
Information from groups like the Trussell Trust point to a further increase in the numbers using foodbanks, and some foodbanks such as the Merthyr Cynon branch are running desperately short of supplies because of demand. This is unacceptable and cannot go on.
Local Economy and Jobs – Join our conversation
Thank to those employers and organisations who have made contact about our local economy and jobs. This work will continue in the coming months so get in touch to:
- tell us your story and highlight success,
- discuss concerns and problems about the local economy,
- arrange a visit to your place of work.