South East Wales

Petition to call for enterprise zone in Newport

A petition calling for the Welsh government to create an enterprise zone in Newport is to be handed in at the Senedd.

It comes after industries in five zones across Wales were told they would receive rate relief and may benefit from tax breaks.

They will be at Anglesey, Ebbw Vale, Deeside, St Athan in the Vale of Glamorgan, and Cardiff.

But Newport councillor David Williams wants the issue debated in the Senedd.

Mr Williams is behind the petition which will be handed to members of the cross-party petitions committee, chaired by Mid and West Wales AM William Powell.

In September, the Welsh government was accused of lagging behind England, where 21 zones had been announced.

Business Minister Edwina Hart said at the time she had made her decision after listening to businesses over the summer.

The Welsh government said then that its plans were in the early stages and no final decisions had been made on whether to relax planning rules.

It is initially making £10m available over the next five years.

But Conservative assembly leader Andrew RT Davies said the government's enterprise zones policy had been made up "on the back of a fag packet".

Plaid Cymru economy spokesman Alun Ffred Jones said "huge swathes" of Wales had been left out.

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