Mick Antoniw, Assembly Member for Pontypridd has welcomed the Welsh Government’s introduction of a taskforce to meet future educational, health and economic development needs in the valleys.

The taskforce, which was announced at the Assembly by Minister for Lifelong Learning and Welsh Language Alun Davies, will work across Government and include representatives from the private and public sector to help the most disadvantaged areas of the valleys, and ensure every individual has the opportunity to fulfil their potential.

The taskforce is part of the Welsh Labour Government’s vision for a new approach to investing in the future of our valleys, which will aim to engage and empower local communities and restore a sense of hope and aspiration.

It will build on the significant structural investment that has taken place in the valleys and will work with people, local businesses, local government, the third sector and civic organisations to promote the valleys as a region for investment and a place to live.

Mick Antoniw said:

“At centres of excellence such as the University of South Wales in Treforest and in projects such as the planned South Wales Metro we see how Welsh Government, working with talented local people can help transform our valleys communities.

“That’s why I’m delighted that the Welsh Government has committed to putting its full weight behind improving the employment, educational and long-term health prospects for people in our communities.

“Although the Welsh Labour Government has made important progress in reducing unemployment and invested significantly in infrastructure projects, many people living in Pontypridd and other valleys communities still feel left behind. I believe that the vote against EU membership was in part people sending a message to politicians that they do not feel secure about their future.

“This taskforce demonstrates that the Labour Welsh Government is listening and I will be fully engaged in helping to make sure the taskforce delivers for our people.”