Starmer and Drakeford vow to create jobs, bring investment to North Wales

Elliot Chappell
© Twitter/@MarkDrakeford

Keir Starmer has declared that he and Mark Drakeford are “committed to creating jobs and bringing new investment to North Wales” ahead of a visit to the region in the run-up to the Senedd election taking place next month.

The UK Labour leader commented before his trip to Wrexham with Drakeford on Thursday that Welsh Labour’s manifesto will “keep North Wales moving forward” with a plan for new jobs and growth in the area.

“It’s a plan for big investment in healthcare with a new medical school, building new homes, guaranteeing young people a job or training, and modern public transport,” Starmer said.

Welsh Labour launched its manifesto earlier this month for the upcoming Senedd vote. It has six key pledges to help the devolved nation recover from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and a “real plan to move Wales forward”.

The party has committed to establishing a new medical school in North Wales to train health professionals across the region as part of a wider commitment to undertake a significant NHS catch-up programme.

“Our offer is about the future,” the UK Labour leader added. “Together, we will invest in renewable energy, celebrate cultural and sporting success, and promote this great region around the world.”

Labour’s policy platform for the Senedd election includes a promise to provide infrastructure to “harness the natural assets of North Wales” to provide jobs and increase renewable energy generation to help combat the climate emergency.

Welsh Labour has also committed to creating jobs by establishing a new national park in the Clwydian Range and Dee Valley, and continuing to help support key sectors like aerospace and tourism to thrive in the region.

“We have an ambitious plan to recover from the pandemic and to rebuild fairer, leaving no one behind as we move North Wales forward,” First Minister Mark Drakeford said ahead of the campaign visit on Thursday.

“We will invest in new green infrastructure and support the regeneration of our town centres after Covid; we will make sure businesses have the finance they need to thrive and invest in the green industries of tomorrow – innovative housing, renewable energy, and new digital technologies.”

He highlighted the £15bn capital investment programme outlined in his party’s manifesto for the next Senedd term, which he argued Labour would use to “create jobs right across North Wales and the rest of the country”.

“Our offer to North Wales is the return of economic prosperity, new green jobs and establishing this beautiful part of the country as a world class destination for tourism,” the Welsh Labour leader added.

Labour plans also include establishing a football museum in Wrexham, delivering a £25m redevelopment of Theatr Clwyd and supporting the application to identify the the slate landscape of northwest Wales as a World Heritage site.

Voters will head to the polls in Wales on May 6th to elect their Senedd representatives. Polling earlier this week predicted that Welsh Labour is on course to secure 29 of the 60 seats up for grabs in the upcoming contest.

The research, carried out by Opinium for Sky News, found that 40% of voters are planning to back the party in the constituency vote next month. The Tories placed second on 30%, Plaid Cymru third with 19% and the Lib Dems fourth on 4%.

Welsh residents will cast two votes next month, one for their constituency representative and one for the regional list. The poll predicted Welsh Labour would secure 38% of the regional vote, with the Conservatives in second place on 27%.

The survey, the largest so far with 2,005 respondents, also showed strong support for the Welsh Labour leader with 29% preferring Drakeford. 10% backed Conservative Andrew Davies and 8% opted for Plaid Cymru leader Adam Price.

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