A TRIO of Labour Caerphilly councillors have put together an extensive list of alternates to the county borough council's masterplan.

Cllrs Shayne Cook, Shelly Hodder and James Pritchard have put together an extensive response to Caerphilly County Borough Council's masterplan, which sets out plans to develop the town and make the most of future opportunities.

All three represent the Morgan Jones ward, with Cllr Cook a member of the county borough council and Cllr Hodder on Caerphilly Town Council, while Cllr Pritchard is a member of both authorities.

The 16-page response to the council document, which has been out for consultation since March, was put together following discussions with residents.

In the introduction the three said: "Local residents want to see a thriving town, full of independent retailers and a strong tourist appeal.

"This is clear from general discussions that will go on in living rooms across the Caerphilly basin."

They added: "We don’t, however, believe the document should be either accepted as the council position or rejected as a vague ‘shopping list’.

"The onus is on locally elected members to gauge the views of the general public to best work out how the ideas and concepts in the masterplan can be complimented by the ideas generated from individuals.

"Indeed, we’ve generated some ideas and concepts not contained in the masterplan.

"Criticism or negativity will not drive Caerphilly forward.

"Innovative ideas from the length and breadth of the Caerphilly basin will."

Key to improving the fortunes of the town, they said, is to make far more of Caerphilly Castle.

"It’s clear from our discussions with constituents that Caerphilly is underselling itself and more effort needs to be put in to ensuring tourists dwell time is increased," it said. "We couldn’t imagine a bigger hook than Caerphilly Castle and this magnificent attraction should lie at the centrepiece of the Caerphilly Basin Masterplan."

It added: "The town of Caerphilly could be viewed as perfectly balanced tourist destination between the big cities of Cardiff and Newport.

"It shares similarities with Pontypridd, both via geographically are and historically as an industrial town.

"However, no smaller town in the rest of Wales can boast the huge attraction that is Caerphilly Castle.

"This is where Caerphilly clearly stands out."

The three also called for more investment to be put into schools and employment, as well as for more development within the town centre itself in an attempt to deter shoppers from travelling to Cardiff, Newport or elsewhere and makes a series of 12 recommendations.

The council has said the masterplan will "seek to build on the town’s existing strengths by enhancing its role as a retail, tourist and employment centre, unlocking significant economic growth, delivering jobs and private sector investment (and) fulfilling its potential as a regional hub through the South East Wales Metro initiative."

For more information visit caerphilly.gov.uk