Monday, 20 October 2014


Today saw the publication of Plaid Cymru’s Sustainable Communities Commission report on how to make Wales a country of more sustainable communities. We need to both empower people and to empower our communities, something that will lead to local democratic renewal, create a more sustainable infrastructure and also strengthen investment in our communities.

This is important because not only does the report focus on putting local communities across Wales at the heart of the sustainability agenda by giving them more power to make their own decisions, but it also advocates giving our communities the power to make their decisions actually happen. You can click here to read the full report. 

Plaid Cymru's Sustainable Communities Commission report was launched during a visit to the Crest Co-operative enterprise in Llandudno Junction by Hywel Williams MP for Arfon and Llyr Gruffydd AM who chaired the Commission.

The report includes proposals to reform and strengthen community councils so that they can decide what is best within their communities. It also recomends mapping publicly owned land so that it can be put to best use (such as affordable housing or community growing) and supporting sustainable infrastructure, including better internet connections, to ensure more connected communities for the future.

Good practice is highlighted in the report with successful examples that could be emulated across Wales included timebanking schemes in Cardiff, community groups that prevent loneliness and isolation amongst older people, community renewable energy generation schemes in west Wales and Powys as well as local procurement and regeneration schemes from Gwynedd. 

Speaking at the launch, shadow cabinet member, Llyr Guffydd AM said:

" Plaid Cymru wants to see Wales prosper with a strong economy and world-class public services. It wants a healthy natural environment supporting a society that is resilient to change. I believe the approach of starting with citizens and communities and building outwards is the best way of achieving this vision.

"Communities are the building blocks of our nation, bringing a rich diversity of experiences and places together.

"Our commission sought expert advice from many external groups and their input has played an important part in our findings.

"We will need to draw on all of our assets to find sustainable solutions to the challenges we face. Government simply can't do it on its own. We need to be creative and innovative. Engaging communities, building up their capacity and encouraging community-led responses can release much needed energy and creativity. We need to create a framework where communities can make a full contribution.

“Our recommendations include proposals to reform and empower community councils, mapping publicly owned land so that it can be put to best use, such as affordable housing or community growing, and supporting sustainable infrastructure, such as internet connections to create more connected communities.

“These ideas will inform our 2016 National Assembly manifesto, made relevant to all communities in all parts of Wales."

Hywel Williams MP for Arfon added:

"Crest Co-operative is just one example of countless enterprises throughout Wales which show what can be achieved when individuals come together to work in the best interests of their communities.

"Plaid Cymru wants to build a better Wales for the next generation, not resort to self-interest and short-termism.

"I hope that the findings of this Commission will spark wider discussions on what Wales can achieve when people rally around common goals that will benefit Welsh communities both economically and environmentally.

“We are all aware of the budget cuts and the need to maintain services. Local communities have to be part of that conversation, and that is why Plaid Cymru is putting local communities at the heart of Wales’ future."

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