Rural concerns over Flintshire Council's new jobs pledge


Romilly Scragg

A RURAL politician has urged Flintshire Council to ensure all young people benefit from new employment opportunities.

But concerns rural communities will miss out if transport issues are not addressed were countered by calls for those communities to accept more housing developments.

County councillors yesterday endorsed principles which will see additional job opportunities created for Flintshire residents and in particular young people.

Under the Employers’ Promise, the authority, alongside partners, is committed to working with other organisations to create additional training, apprenticeships and work opportunities with a specific focus on improving the routes to employment available to young people.

Council leader Aaron Shotton said he was “very proud” the council was still able to commit to investing to increase opportunities across the local authority’s area.

And he said the idea was “catching on with neighbouring authorities”.

“The ambition is to extend this to private and voluntary organisations”, for it to be something that would be seen as “a badge of honour”, he said.

Flintshire member for Llanfynydd, Cllr Hilary Isherwood, said that “in principle” the Employers Promise was a fantastic idea.

But she said several councillors had a “real problem” with the county’s infrastructure which she said should be addressed in the county’s Local Development Plan (LDP).

“We have very, very poor buses,” she said. “You’re very lucky if you live in parts of Deeside but I’m asking this council to give a commitment to rural and semi-rural areas of Flintshire. Every single person, every young person deserves the same opportunities. They need to have jobs.

“If we don’t put money into making sure youngsters can access opportunities, we will have drive through villages with only older people.

“The whole community aspect will have gone.”

But environment member and deputy leader Cllr Bernie Attridge said the Employers Promise was “a very positive new item”.

“With the LDP, we need to be looking at all aspects of rural issues,” he said.

To prevent post offices and schools being lost to rural communities, he said rural communities would need to accept affordable housing projects.

”I firmly believe that rural areas will need to take some of the growth our of the urban areas but we need to be looking for more affordable housing to get people in to make post offices and schools in those areas sustainable.”

See full story in the Leader

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