The Welsh Liberal Democrat Assembly Member for South Wales West, Peter Black has called on Welsh Government Ministers to give their full backing to Swansea's bid to become the 2017 UK City of Culture.
Mr. Black was speaking after it was reported that community leaders, representatives from local government and higher education and local MPs will be setting up shop in Westminster next month to sell the bid to MPs. He is concerned that the Welsh Government are not part of that team and at indications that Assembly Ministers have so far been lukewarm towards the bid.
"Swansea is the only Welsh City shortlisted for this award," said Mr. Black, "and as such I would expect the full weight of the Welsh Government to get behind their bid. The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales, Baroness Jenny Randerson has already been to Swansea for a briefing and has pledged to do what she can. In addition the Secretary of State for Wales has also asked for a briefing. Why are Welsh Government Ministers not following suit?
"Swansea and the Swansea Bay Region stand to benefit immensely if we are awarded the City of Culture status. Our profile will be raised even further and there will be important economic benefits as well. I expect the Welsh Government to recognise that and do everything it can to ensure the bid is successful."