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Caerphilly County Borough

1,500 jobs created in Caerphilly County Borough with European money

Published in Business, News. Last updated on Wednesday February 5th, 2014 at 11:07

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More than 1,500 jobs have been created in Caerphilly County Borough through recent European Union funding.

Recent information from the Welsh European Funding Office shows that between 2007 and 2013 the gross number of jobs created through the European Regional Development Fund stood at 1,573.

Over the same period there were also 14,674 people gaining qualifications through the European Social Fund.
Caerphilly AM Jeff Cuthbert said European money was making a difference in Caerphilly County Borough and pointed to recent rail improvements.

He said: “Last December we saw the opening of Energlyn and Churchill Park railway station. The new station was funded by the European Regional Development Fund through the Welsh Government.

“EU funding will soon help transform a number of railway stations across Wales including Ystrad Mynach which will benefit from a new ticket office, passenger waiting facilities on both platforms, and general improvements to the station environment.

“I welcome this European investment in infrastructure projects in my constituency.”

He added that EU funding was crucial to future projects.

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  • Cllr. Richard Willia

    So nice of the EU to give us all this money, they seem like a fairy godmother to we poor Welsh people. Trouble is it is just not true, we only get back a little of what we put in. I include below a snippet from the Telegraph newspaper.

    "Britain will give an extra £10bn to the European Union because of the weakness of struggling eurozone economies, it has emerged.

    The British contribution to the EU will rise dramatically from £30bn to £40bn over the next five years, the Office for Budget Responsibility said."

    The EU are only good for one thing, self publicity.

  • Cllr Hefin David

    Richard,

    When the Telegraph says 'we', they mean 'Britain'. Wales benefits enormously from EU membership. EU funds are spent in regions that need it- such as my ward, where we had a much needed car park extension at Pengam Park and Ride. This EU funded, million pound project, improved the quality of life for residents who previously had to put up with people parking outside their houses in narrow terraced streets and allowed commuters to Cardiff free, easy parking. I can't imagine Cameron ever investing in such schemes. And I can't imagine Telegraph writers ever think about the people of Glanynant. The Torygraph doesn't like it because the wealth is redistributed to those that need it most.

    Hefin

  • Cllr. Richard Willia

    Hefin, as a former member of the National Union of Mineworkers and the Labour Party I am under no illusions about Tory policy or, for that matter, New Labour policy. Wales is part of the British Isles too. I am making a point that 'EU money' is nothing of the kind but merely our money, part of which we get back in order to generate publicity for the EU.

    I am pleased that the quality of life of the people of Pengam has improved because of an extension to a car park but wonder why it is beyond the wit of homegrown politicians to arrange to spend the necessary money. Perhaps Cameron would not invest in such schemes, I don't know, I do know for certain that Blair and Brown did not in their thirteen years in power.

  • Mechsikko

    Richard makes an excellent point. If Britain’s annual expenditure on the EU was put into a big British pot of money and shared out amongst projects in the British isles, Wales would be even better off. Wales would receive more money and the regulations surrounding the spending of the money could better suit British and Welsh interests.

    As for this article, gross creation is unimportant. What was the net number of jobs created?

    Even if the net number is positive, that is looking at an annual basis. If we took the years since the EU has existed, the net number of jobs would be negative. EU competition rules out protectionist policies meaning uncompetitive Welsh factories lose out. It’s not just manufacturing jobs either..

  • Cllr Hefin David

    Richard- I would disagree about investment in Labour years. Greenhill Primary School in Gelligaer was demolished and completely rebuilt in those years and my former Primary School, Glyngaer, had a thorough million pound refurbishment. These schools had been badly neglected in the 80s and 90s. I don't believe that they are atypical examples.

    Mechsikko- You are right, the wider context is important and is often forgotten in discussions about the EU. Amid the argument about increased bureaucracy, it is worth noting that UK exports within the EU, for example, make up more than half of the UK's global exports and contribute £200 billion to the British economy. The question is- would this, or a proportion of it, be lost to the UK if we were to leave?

    Further, it can be argued that the European countries are more stable politically and economically as a result of the EU. This stability brings benefits for all member states, not least in terms of trade and avoidance of conflict.

    The EU needs reform in many areas but the question we should ask is whether society- UK and beyond- benefits on the whole as a result of its existence. I would argue that it does but, in the spirit of seeking reform, would respect the opinions of those, like Richard and Mechsikko, that hold a different view.

  • Cllr. Richard Willia

    Hefin, just to clarify I have no objection to a trading association between European countries or a pledge of peaceful coexistence, I am pro Europe but anti EU. What alarms me is the idea of political union which, far from maintaining peace in Europe is liable to cause a massive European civil war.

    Talking of benefits I would cite the example of Greece, the cradle of democracy. This country is poorer than it was, right wing extremism is on the increase and the country is effectively ruled by proconsuls appointed by Germany. British foreign policy, from the battle of Waterloo onward, has been to restrict the power of Germany in Europe. In the last twenty years we seem to have forgotten this.

    On the subject of trade and whether we would lose out if we left is a question that can only be answered by actually leaving the EU. I have given much thought to this possibility and am relaxed about it. We do a lot of trade with EU countries but the balance is in their favour, in other words our trade is in deficit with Europe. If the unelected commissioners, furious at Britain leaving, were to try and make things difficult for our exports we could impose sanctions that would hurt Europe far more. I don’t think it would come to this as companies such as Volkswagen-Audi would not permit interference with the lucrative British market.

    In global trade, last time I looked, we were in a trade surplus with non EU countries. Not being in the EU or the Euro would give our elected representatives, our banks and industries a lot more elbow room to negotiate an increase in trade. Coupled with this we would have available the billions of pounds that we hand over to the EU which could be used to help develop our own poor areas. Taxation too would be under our control. The Tories levied VAT on domestic fuel, Labour reduced this to the minimum allowed under EU rules, 5%. If we were out our government could choose what is taxed and at what level. If the political will was present VAT on gas and electricity could be scrapped immediately, saving our hard pressed workers and pensioners from having to pay 5% on their fuel bills.

  • Cllr Hefin David

    Richard,

    These are strong arguments. Taking the first one, I do not believe that political union, in the sense of a 'United States of Europe' is on the cards but rather a multi level polity in which decisions are taken at the level most appropriate to the nature of the decision- the true meaning of federalism. That said, I accept that a different view may be held and that there is no provable objective reality in this case.

    I absolutely agree with your point about Greece but I would not attribute this to the EU as a whole but to the single currency. It has long been clear that a one size fits all monetary policy does not work, with different regions requiring different approaches. German interest rate policy is not going to be helpful in Thessoloniki. But the UK is not part of that.

    I would also suggest that the argument about the balance of trade does not hinge on whether there is a deficit or a surplus but whether that deficit is likely to increase or decrease as a result of leaving the EU. Again, as you acknowledge, this depends on future behaviour, which is unpredictable.

    I do agree about the democratic deficit in that too much power resides in the hands of the EU Commission. That said, there exist checks on that power in the form of supranational decision making. The irony is that to reduce this deficit further would be to move to closer political union. That this argument is rarely deployed by euro enthusiasts demonstrates that such political union is unlikely.

    Your point about VAT on domestic fuel, though selective, is correct. But again VAT policy depends on future behaviour and this is as likely to change at an EU level as it is at a national, regional or local one.

    Leaving the EU would not guarantee any kind of stability. It is the gambler's option and, given all that has happened, I think we are living in risk averse times.

  • Cllr. Richard Willia

    Your position is well defended Hefin, but I remain unconvinced that we are better off in the EU. You seem to be saying, 'stick with nurse for fear of something worse.' I have always tended to a more radical viewpoint.

    I think we had better stop boring the readers of 'Caerphilly Observer' but would welcome further discussion, preferably over a pint of beer!

  • Fran griffiths

    Not boring at all – in fact – carry on . This is real political discourse something severely lacking from our newspapers. We'll done .