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First Base is the equivalent of an 'Editorial'. It is the opportunity for S & A to provide comment and provoke discussion on topical issues relating to leisure and tourism. This will be provided each month and we would welcome your feedback on the matters raised.

First Base 20: A Tale Of Two Cities

Date: 20/5/2004

An interesting comparison would be to examine the economic, cultural and strategic dynamics that are at work in Edinburgh/Glasgow and Cardiff/Swansea.

As both cities in Scotland motor forwards in a comfortable, complementary, relationship that produces mutually beneficial results (and a huge overall boost to the economy and profile of Scotland) there seems to be an opposite phenomenon taking place in Wales where it appears there isn't room for two vibrant urban centres. This is sad and belies considerable efforts being made by local politicians to secure growth in both cities. The physical evidence even to the untrained eye suggests that Cardiff is moving forward whilst Swansea struggles to tread water.
All too often the tenet "Swansea a graveyard of ambition" is expressed with what can only be described as a degree of pride - certainly a neat excuse for not doing things.

There is no need for Swansea to live in the shadow of Cardiff as Wales' second city anymore than Glasgow now thrives in Scotland. Rather than compete Swansea needs to complement the capital. A radical review of Swansea's role is needed.

Irrespective of the revolutionary relationship between these two urban centres one common stand links them. It is a stand that unfortunately besets much of Wales and increasingly, the UK. It is the curse of litter. The sheer volume of rubbish and the appalling lack of civic pride are major challenges in Wales today.

Dr. Terry Stevens

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