|Relative GVA per head compared to UK Average for the UK's 10 poorest regions|
As you can see, some regions have shown tremendous growth over the past seven years, whereas places like Anglesey, the valleys of South Wales, and Conway & Denbighshire have either continued to decline or stagnated. It is also worth noting that these figures presumably include the output from Anglesey Aluminium and other recently closed companies, making it certain that Anglesey's current GVA per head is even lower than shown here.
However what really stands out to me is how the Western Isles (also known as the Outer Hebrides) have transformed their position from second from the bottom to joint top over a period of just ten years. When we look at the map plotting the location of these ten poorest parts of the UK, we can see just how remarkable the performances of the Western Isles and of Caithness and Sutherland, and Ross Cromarty (i.e. the North East top of Scotland) in particular have been:
|Location of the top 10 poorest regions in the UK|
So, as you can see without (a) the benefit of an A55 linking it directly to the industrial cities of the Midlands; (b) a major port linking it to the capital of Ireland, or (c) even a bridge connecting it to the rest of the mainland, the Western Isles have managed to not only economically outperform us in Anglesey, but have also grown dramatically too. This map also makes it clear that simply blaming the peripheral location of Anglesey as the cause of all our problems is not enough -- most of the bottom ten regions are in relatively remote locations, yet the two most remote regions (Western Isles and the North East tip of Scotland) have somehow found a way to grow.
To me this indicates that, all other things being equal, there must be something fundamentally wrong with the Economic Development policies being followed by successive governments in Westminster, and in particular by the Welsh Assembly Government which need to be put right as soon as possible.