LABOUR councillors have made calls for more funding support for Amman Valley businesses to help strengthen the town's economy.

Councillor Rob James, Leader of Carmarthenshire Labour group is urging the Plaid Cymru-Independent administration to go back to the drawing board with its plans to help businesses boom in Ammanford town centre and surrounding areas.

He said: “There are clear signs that what has happened in the past hasn’t worked. There are several regeneration funds available to businesses but are they being targeted in the right way? Are they working?

“Communities in the Amman Valley were created for the purpose of extracting resources from our land. With the pit closures that industry has gone away. Add to that the lack of public transport available and you are faced with businesses who are struggling.”

Cllr James says the council’s “build it and they will come” mantra needs to end.

“How many times has something been built throughout the county that has become a white elephant,” he said. "For us to be able to come out in a strong position post covid-19, small businesses need more council and government support.”

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County Councillor, Kevin Madge, said the Amman Valley needs to "wake up from its long slumber" and urged the council administration to put more of its resources into the town centre.

He added: “Buildings need improvement and traders also need more support, not just landlords.

“The county council is putting too many resources in areas outside of the Amman Valley, some of which I do fully support, but the Amman Valley is still being left behind.

Cllr Madge, shadow executive board member for social care and health, says he wants to see at least £1million invested into the area.

“Towns are opening back up and need extra support. There needs to be new plans and schemes in place to help them recover, he said.”

The Garnant ward member added that he also wants to see the Amman Valley rail line open back up.

“This is something that has been discussed in the past but with the coal in the upper Amman Valley coming to an end, we need to look at how we can utilise what we have.You can’t rely on public transport if you want to go to Ammanford in the evening for a pint or visit a restaurant – when we are safe to.”

He added: “Moving forward there needs to be a better solution for the Amman Valley to help it recover.”