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Sunday, 18 October 2009

Aberystwyth in the Autumn

Two significant Open days took place in Aberystwyth yesterday, an open day for the new Assembly Building and an open day for prospective students at Aberystwyth University. I took a flying visit to the first and was involved with the second.
The Assembly building to house civil servants relocated from Cardiff and other locations in mid Wales was formally opened by Rhodri Morgan on Thursday last. Inside its an impressive building but the security is probably a bit much for Aberystwyth. I hope people visit the site and use the cafe in particular and yesterday morning it was busy, which is a welcoming sight. Relocating well paid jobs to Aberystwyth can only benefit the local economy and it was particularly disappointing to see our local MP sniping from the sides about the number of jobs available. In the current economic climate any additional posts in Ceredigion are welcome.
The ability of Aberystwyth University to recruit students also has a substantial effect on the future economic stability of Ceredigion. This year's freshers intake is a record built on the record intake for the last academic year and numbers bring in money, money brings in staff, and staff bring in additional research funds, much of which will find its way into the local economy. A good open day does the world for recruitment and the weather was with us yesterday as well! Its expected as an employee of the University that "...I would say that wouldn't I...." but we need to recognise and congratulate the positive effect that the University, the National Library, the Hospital and other public service institutions have on our communities in Ceredigion. Its economic and cultural.
Public service job provision insulates a local economy from the immediate effects of recession however the effect is often delayed. Without apportionating blame - poor regulation, excessive risk taking, iappropriate economic policies etc. - Government is faced with a lower tax take and increased interest charges to fund its borrowing, which in turn reduces the funds available to finance public bodies. For areas dependent on such funding now is a critical time. Its for that reason want to see my AM working hard to to protect the local economy - which she does, and its the duty of an MP to do the same.

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