Article written by Rob Roberts – Businessman and Conservative Candidate for Delyn in North Wales:
The strangle hold in Cardiff has left North Wales lagging behind in inward investment. The transport links between the North and the South are appalling, the North Wales Health Board is in special measures and the opportunity for small business grants in North Wales does not exist.
When people say that there is no such a thing as the North South divide they are wrong. This exists in Wales. The growth that should be there just is not, there is no inward investment, nothing coming from Cardiff, no support, nothing at all.
Between the North and South, the only main direct route by car is through the A483, there is no motorway link. If you were to take a train from Holyhead to Cardiff it would take 4 hours 45 minutes, a distance of around 200 miles. If you were to take a train from Manchester to London a journey of 209 miles it takes about 2 hours. Why? Because unlike the Manchester to London line there is no direct link, no direct link because no investment.
The NHS in Wales is a devolved responsibility, in North Wales the Health Board is the Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board which covers Anglesey, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire, Gwynedd and Wrexham which has been in special measures since 2015. Why? Because the government in Cardiff has failed to recognise the spending requirements of the Health Board and fund it properly. Funding in Wales has increased in real terms every year since 2013 so where is the money?
At present there are 7 business grants available to Wales, sorry let me rephrase that, there are currently 7 business grants available to South Wales. These are in Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Newport, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Swansea. There are none available to businesses in North Wales, why? Do the businesses in North Wales not matter. In total businesses in South Wales have access to up to £26,000 and businesses in North Wales have access to £0.
These are some of the examples where there is a clear North South divide. North Wales is not being properly represented in Cardiff and the government in Cardiff is not being held to account because of the poor representation. It is time that this changes and North Wales is no longer left behind.