Tuesday, 27 October 2009

North-South divide, part 94

Today's Leader front page highlights the "Wrexham/Cardiff divide", a theme that has resurfaced from time to time over the past 10 years of devolution.
The complaint is that the North is ignored by "the South", or more specifically Cardiff Bay. This tends to rise whenever any project fails to get Assembly funding.
Two projects submitted by Wrecsam Council - for a £2m stand for the Racecourse and a £10m business park on the Ruthin Road - may or may not have been good enough. I know there were problems with giving public money to a privately owned company (i.e. Wrexham FC or Wrexham Village) but the Western Gateway scheme is an important development for the whole borough.
But my main concern is that people - whether politicians or journalists - who play up the North-South divide are often just hostile to the concept of devolution and the Assembly itself. Opposition to the Assembly has diminished to the point that only the cranky UKIP is calling for it to be abolished.
Most people want decisions that affect Wales to be made in Wales - and hopefully we will get more powers to do that sooner rather than later.
The South will always get more than the North because two-thirds of the Welsh population live there. And, while there are areas of relative affluence, there are many more areas of poverty and deprivation.
Politicians with an anti-Assembly agenda should be wary about stirring up the North-South divide for their own sectarian ends.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

£47 million of £118 million going to one local authority in Wales - Blaenau Gwent, why, its Labours top target seat in Wales, cronyism at its best.

Anonymous said...

One of Andrew Davies's team of advisors is David Goldstone ex chair of Cardiff and Swansea Football Clubs and heavily involved with the WRU estate. The question is should he have sat in judgement on the Racecourse bid when the purpose was to increase capacity so that it could host regional rugby matches and international matches. Now does Goldstone really want that? Was he impartial? Were the Nolan Principles of Standards in Public Life complied with when deciding where this funding went to?

Pelagius said...

Good for you on this one! While I'm sure there may be genuine disappointment in Wrecsam, what has that got to do with this mythical divide? Anon 09.20 may be much nearer the mark, unfortunately.

You speak to people in Butetown - Cardiff, not Rhymni - about the Welsh government and they will say the same from time to time.

Like Thatcher was against the EU because, under Delours, it was Euro-socialist, she played the Brit Nat card. Same with dividing Wales. It's about ideology and policy.

Anonymous said...

To see who this so called independent panel of advisers are, follow this link:
http://wales.gov.uk/about/cabinet/cabinetstatements/2008/080917appointstrategic/?lang=en

Ryan Paul Rogers said...

I wonder whether there is any criteria on which the decisions have been based and whether any feedback will be given to councils regarding unsuccessful bids?

As someone who is fully supportive of the Assembly I think a lot of peopke believe there is a North - South divide, therefore it is vital that the priorities of councils in North Wales are recognised. Often however the departmental priorities of councils are not shared by local people!