HARD-HIT businesses – which were promised financial compensation more than half a decade ago – are demanding that the Welsh Government fulfils its pledge of providing financial support.
Works on the Heads of the Valley Road (the A465) have caused the arterial road, between Gilwern and Brynmawr, to close intermittently on countless occasions.
As a result, businesses in the vicinity were promised financial compensation by the Welsh Government for the closures more than seven and a half years ago.
But to date the businesses have not seen a single penny.
Fay Bromfield, who is the co-owner of Gilwern-based Bromfields family butchers, said “We’ve been treated appallingly by both the Welsh Government and Costain. Our repeated pleas—including 10 months ago from David TC Davies and Peter Fox—have fallen on deaf ears.
“These works have been going on for more than half a decade and, when they happen, some businesses see an eye-watering 80% drop in turnover. That isn’t sustainable long term.
“And, to add insult to injury, we’ve been told of further closures but haven’t been given any details.
“Our future is dependent upon the Welsh Government fulfilling its moral obligation to give us much-needed financial support.”
Peter Fox, the Member of the Senedd for Monmouth, echoed similar concerns, saying, “The very least businesses are owed are both respect and clarity on future road closures.
“The community needs clarity because this ordeal has gone on for far, far too long. I join my colleague, David TC Davies, in calling for the Welsh Government to fulfil its obligation to provide financial support to impacted businesses.”
David TC Davies, the Member of Parliament for Monmouth, added “We heard from business owners that these closures are having a severe impact on trade for which businesses have received no compensation. The signage is poor and does not make clear that access can still be possible.
“Residents and business owners have a right to know well in advance when these closures are going to happen and how many more times they are going to face disruption.
“It is high time that a Minister from the Welsh Government came down to Gilwern to meet with local people and understand the effect the closures are having on their lives.”