The Llandovery Project – Visioning a Better Future:
In October 2009, following a series of public meetings convened by Llandovery Town Council and The Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment, a Partnership Management Group ( PMG ) was established. The task of this Group is to analyse the social, economic and environmental problems facing the Community and to devise a strategy for its rejuvenation and sustainability over the coming decade.
For several years the Town, like many other communities in rural mid-Wales, has witnessed a steadily declining local economy,
deterioration of important services and the flight of its young people to the larger towns and cities.
There is virtually no affordable housing for local people of modest means and as development land is severely restricted it is very expensive. Farming, once the mainstay of the local economy, now supports very few jobs and there is limited employment opportunity elsewhere in the area.. Small commercial businesses have a high failure rate and investment in the town is falling. Only a minimum level of service is possible for the railway operator, schools are having to close and most local children do not expect to return to the area after higher education.
It would not be unreasonable to expect the local population to feel frustrated and depressed and, certainly, expectations have faltered as these problems have deepened over the last few decades. But now there is a new mood emerging, evidenced by a group of determined people capable of galvanising the community, intent upon reversing this spiral of decline and able to help Llandovery prepare for the end of cheap oil and a changing climate.
To achieve this, the PMG has launched a radical initiative, the Llandovery Project, the first stage being the preparation of a range of policies for housing, food, energy, transport, tourism, education and other public services. These policies and priorities will be illustrated in a “Vision Plan”, a view of Llandovery Community in 2020. Achievable, commonsense proposals in conceptual form, presented in clear graphics and plain language.
Guided by public opinion in the town and neighbouring communities, and by discussions with Local Government councillors/officers, this work will be carried out in an accelerated programme and will be completed by March 2010.
Discussions will be sought with CCC during the early development of the vision plan. On completion the intention is to promote the project in a wider public arena as soon as possible and to work hard for the adoption of its policies.
(from a summary prepared for the Llandovery Partnership by the Calon Cymru Consultancy: December 2009)