On Saturday 7 February, Welsh Labour is holding a major conference at Coleg Y Cymoedd, Nantgarw, near Pontypridd. The conference will be attended by 100 Labour Party members and supporters from across the South Wales Valleys.
The conference will be addressed by First Minister Carwyn Jones and Shadow Secretary of State Owen Smith, along with a number of other Labour MPs and AMs. The conference will be chaired by Caerphilly Labour MP Wayne David.
A keynote address will be given by Professor Steve Fothergill, from the Centre for Regional Economic and Social Research, Sheffield Hallam University, and National Director of the Industrial Communities Alliance. The title of Professor Fothergill’s address will be ‘What’s gone wrong in the Valleys? And what needs to change?’
The objective of the conference is threefold. Firstly, to demonstrate in the run up to the general election that it is only Labour which is able to effectively tackle the deep-seated issues in the Valleys and offer a clear vision of the future. Secondly, the conference will highlight the fact that a Labour Government is needed to build on the work of the Labour-led Welsh Assembly. A new partnership between Westminster and Cardiff Bay is needed to take the Valleys forward. Thirdly, the conference will discuss the policies needed in both Wales and at the UK level to bring sustainable prosperity to the Valleys.
Shadow Secretary of State for Wales Owen Smith said, “This conference is extremely important. In preparation for May’s general election the conference will help to show that it is only Welsh Labour which is able to champion the needs and aspirations of the South Wales Valleys.”
Wayne David, MP for Caerphilly and Ed Miliband’s Parliamentary Private Secretary, added, “The conference will make the point that the way forward for the Valleys is to have a meaningful partnership between the Welsh Assembly and the Westminster Government. Labour will put the Valleys at the top of its agenda and this conference will begin to set out how Labour will breathe new life into our Valley communities.”