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Earlier this month FOR Cardiff published our city centre manifesto, laying out what we think should be priorities for the next Cardiff Council administration. Now we’re looking over the manifestos of the major parties to see how far their plans fit with our ambitions and whether they line up with our recommendations of prioritising setting, culture, and transport.
First up, here’s what we found interesting from the Common Ground alliance between Plaid Cymru and the Wales Green Party.
This commitment ties in with our plea to Welsh Government to prioritise town and city centre development over edge/out of town. The retail argument is key here, but we’d suggest this commitment should extend to business parks and office space – all of these amenities should be in multi-functional accessible places.
People in Wales have the weakest rights in the UK when it comes to community ownership and this can have an adverse impact on our places including Cardiff city centre. We’ve asked Welsh Government to empower communities to take over neglected and mismanaged assets and we would like to see this come to fruition in Cardiff and across Wales – powers need to come with access to funding and we’d be interested to see this proposal develop.
This sounds great and we consistently advocate for centring Cardiff’s essential ‘Cardiff-ness’ in developments to the city. It’s great that Common Ground have recognised this conceptually and we’d love to see a more fleshed out idea of how they’d describe that particular Cardiff quality.
A great statement but we’d like to know more about what this means in practice. We’d like to see the Common Ground stand up for the Agent of Change principle and, while they work for community purchase powers to be progressed, explore what can be done to protect cultural venues that are not in owner occupied spaces.
We’re clear that the city centre should welcome young people and uses that are not specifically linked to spending money. Urban sports belong in urban centres and as long as they are not creating health and safety hazards we’d like to see them nurtured.
Getting the basics right is vital – it’s good to see this included alongside more strategic concerns – waste disposal in particular is a blight in the city centre. Let’s get a real grip on this commercial bin issue.
Yes! It’s not a headline grabber but this is an absolutely vital issue and, we think, Common Ground are the only people to touch on this. Public amenities are one of the key elements in making a town or city centre a welcoming place to spend time.
Transport ✔️ (we’ve not pulled out many points on public transport from the Common Ground manifesto because there’s lots of other stuff to talk about but their general commitment to high quality public and active travel infrastructure is there)
You can read the full Common Ground manifesto here.