The economy of the Llanelli constituency can get better, but only if people are bold and work together; that’s the message of a new economic plan launched by the AM for Llanelli, Lee Waters.

The AM, who sits on the Assembly’s Economy & Infrastructure Committee, has been working on the plan since his election more than two years ago. Entitled ‘Bwrw ymlaen’ (Pushing forward), the report makes 32 recommendations and is subtitled ‘Towards an Economic Strategy for the Llanelli constituency’.

“The whole reason I became an Assembly Member was because I refuse to believe things have to be this way. We can make things better for Llanelli. But it’s not quick, and it’s not easy. And I can’t do it alone. By publishing this report I hope to get the council, the Welsh government, local organisations and businesses to work together to find a way through these difficult times” Lee Waters said.

The plan makes suggestions for actions on economic development, transport, energy, digital and Llanelli town centre.

The 32 point plan includes:

Encouraging big local organisations to buy local – Based on the example of Preston Council, working with our largest institutions (Carmarthenshire County Council, Hywel Dda Health Board, Pobl housing association, Dyfed Powys Police and local schools and colleges ) to increase the volume of procurement spending sourced locally and regionally.

Create Tech-hub for food production – Welsh Government should create an Institute for Precision Agriculture in area to improve farm productivity, reducing pollution and develop software and robotics for export.

Local green energy – Creating a plan for the development of community energy infrastructure to cut bills, keep profit in the local area and clean the environment.

Boosting public transport  – Working with Council and Welsh Government to re-regulate bus services to ensure services are reliable and routes serve every community.

Better mix of shops in towns centre  – Council should offer vacant space in the town centre to new traders at affordable rates, and encourage internet based traders to set pop-up showrooms so people can see before they buy.

Creating local car clubs to allow people to share ownership of electric cars, and a robust network of electric vehicle charging points throughout the constituency.

Bring banks back to the High St – Welsh Government should create a community bank, with the facility to deliver face to face services in areas where banks have withdrawn.

Encourage Activity Tourism – Target tourists interested in coast and country activities anddevelop a plan to ensure that we have facilities to meet the demands of these new visitors.

Lee Waters added:

“We are living through very challenging times. Brexit, the proposed closure of Schefler’s and the potential unravelling of the Delta Lakes development are gloomy developments. But I passionately and profoundly believe that we can turn things around. And that the key to our future is within us.

That’s why, this week I’m publishing my ideas for an economic strategy for the area outlining actions I think should be taken to rejuvenate the constituency, from Kidwelly to Tycroes, and Llanelli to Pontyberem.

There are enormous strengths in our local economy – we host national and international expertise in manufacturing, construction, transport & logistics, and sport – expertise that can be harnessed to energise positive change.

People look for simple and quickanswers, there are none. The decline of our economy has taken place overgenerations and it will not be quickly reversed. The actions required go farbeyond the role of an Assembly Member, and I will use what influence I have totry and take forward positive change”.

The report is available here.