Chapter 4 in People, Places and Policy: Knowing contemporary Wales through new localities, pp 78-94

Few places could better illustrate the complexities of locality making than the Heads of the Valleys. The area selected as the south Wales WISERD locality is today highly recognisable as a locality of both political and popular construction. It is enshrined in much Welsh government policy and recognised as a particular bounded space by many stakeholders working in the area. The Heads of the Valleys is also recognisable as an area characterised politically as suffering specific, acute and long-standing social and economic challenges as the result of economic restructuring throughout the twentieth century. For this reason, it can be thought of as a problematic locality. However, this political construction has not always been so. The south Wales valleys were not always framed as suffering from socio-economic hardship, and the Heads of the Valleys was not always invoked as a political area.