City Deal “Finally Making Progress”

The leader of a council which threatened to pull out of the Swansea Bay City Deal has said the £1.3bn scheme is “finally making progress”.

In April, Neath Port Talbot Council threatened to pull out of the City Deal over a growing frustration over the lack of progress on projects, saying its decision to either stay or leave would be taken by the end of the year.

Neath Port Talbot council leader Rob Jones

But council leader Rob Jones says he is now “very pleased” with the progress being made.

He said: “Good progress has been made and I’m satisfied that finally we are now progressing in a direction that shows there is intent from the four authorities to deliver the deal.

“Swansea City Council has now taken the administrative lead while Carmarthenshire County Council remains the host authority and there is progress relating to the appointment of a programme director as opposed to a lead chief executive.

“What we said very clearly was that we needed to have progress being made in relation to the deal because it was stagnating.

“Now that is being done and I am encouraged we are starting to do the work that needs to be done to deliver the City Deal projects and all the benefits.

“The key thing is implementing the recommendations from the internal review and the Welsh Government review.”

Over the summer Neath Port Talbot Council’s cabinet endorsed the business case for its new City Deal projects which are in the process of being submitted to the economic strategy board of the City Deal before then going to the joint committee for final approval and being submitted to Welsh Government.

Cllr Jones said: “We are currently working with Welsh Government through the business cases.

“We are hoping to get the Homes for Power Stations project approved before Christmas and the new business cases for the revamped projects approved by the joint committee either just before, or just after, Christmas.”

The deadline for applications for the new post of City Deal programme director has been extended to October 8.

The appointment aims to speed up the investment programme’s delivery and will meet a recommendation of two independent reviews into the City Deal which looked into the way it was being managed.

News from Wales Online

Written by Editor

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