CARMARTHENSHIRE Labour has called out what they claim is Plaid Cymru’s hypocrisy over the Llandeilo Bypass after Welsh Government capital funds were reallocated to finance their response to Coronavirus.
On the very first International Day for Clean Air, Carmarthenshire Labour state that the Landfill bypass is desperately needed to tackle congestion and poor air quality in Llandeilo, yet acknowledges that Welsh Government Ministers had to make difficult decisions to ensure that sufficient funding was available for the Coronavirus response.
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Monday’s International Day for Clean Air is aimed at raising public awareness at all levels that clean air is important for health, productivity, the economy and the environment. The Royal College of Physicians and the European Heart Review note that up to 62,000 deaths each year in the UK are due to air pollution.
In response to the pandemic, the Welsh Government has spent billions supporting the NHS’ efforts to protect our residents, £39m in direct financial support to our local businesses in Carmarthenshire and ensuring that there are measures in place for the challenging winter that is coming.
Carmarthenshire Labour Leader, Cllr Rob James, stated
“It is extremely unfortunate that Plaid Cymru continues to play politics with the Coronavirus pandemic.
“The pandemic has had an impact on capital projects across Wales, including our own in Carmarthenshire Council, and unfortunately the Llandeilo bypass is not immune from the current climate.
“Carmarthenshire Labour has always been committed to the bypass proposals and it was the last Labour administration that set up the bypass forum and got Ministers to accept the case for a bypass.
“The Welsh Labour Governments has spent far more than has been received by the UK Government to tackle Coronavirus and therefore, Ministers have had to make the difficult decision to utilise capital funds to support our efforts to tackle Coronavirus.
“We believe that the public supports our actions, such as the £39m in Carmarthenshire business support, the funding of pop-up hospitals, additional cleaning support to protect school pupils, and our efforts to reinforce the NHS for the difficult winter ahead. Unfortunately, our response to Coronavirus has meant a slight delay in the building of the bypass and we will continue to work closely with Ministers to ensure that the bypass is delivered as soon as possible.
“All parties should be working together on tackling Coronavirus, rather than Plaid Cymru Councillors requesting Welsh Government finance for Coronavirus and then attacking them for using resources for that action.”
A public exhibition event scheduled to be held in April as part of the consultation work for the project was unfortunately cancelled due to COVID-19 restrictions. The project team have been attempting to find other ways to remotely engage with stakeholders and members of the public to progress the project. The team has consulted with the businesses on Rhosmaen Street in Llandeilo and are now in the process of re-planning an exhibition and consultation event under current Welsh Government interim COVID-19 guidelines, for September 2020.