Yet, despite four of its first nine planning applications dealing directly with Wales, it appears that there are no members of this commission from Wales.
Here is the Wales Times take on things:
INFRASTRUCTURE PLANNING COMMISSION
Few of you will have heard of this new organisation so I strongly suggest you read on, not least because you’ll be hearing a lot more of this outfit in future, and it doesn’t look good for Wales.
The Infrastructure Planning Commission (IPC) has been set up by the London Government to ease through “nationally significant infrastructure projects”; in other words, projects deemed so important that opposition can not be tolerated. For once approved by the IPC it's done and dusted. The new body serves two masters. On the one hand, politicians are relieved of any responsibilities for unpopular projects, while private companies and other developers can – with IPC approval – push those projects through without having to worry about planning applications, public enquiries and all the rest of that democratic nonsense.
The IPC has just published a list of the first nine projects seeking approval in Wales and England. (The IPC has no powers in Scotland or Northern Ireland.) Four of them are in Wales. All are wind farms in Carmarthenshire and Ceredigion. Now you may be ambivalent about wind turbines, even supportive, but think on . . . Among the projects covered by the IPC’s remit is reservoirs. So in a few years time we could be facing another Tryweryn because the IPC decides that a new reservoir in Wales to serve an English conurbation is a “nationally significant infrastructure” project.
If almost half of its projects are to be in Wales then you might assume that there will be a strong Welsh presence on the IPC. Well, you’d be wrong. There will be 20 – 30 Commissioners but at the time of writing none will be Welsh. Yet in December 2007 the London government promised that 2 – 3 of the Commissioners would be appointed by the Welsh Assembly. Now the London government has admitted that all the Commissioners will be appointed before the Assembly is even consulted! Worse, it appears that the Welsh Assembly Government has agreed to this!
The ‘consolation prize’ according to Ceredigion Liberal MP, Mark Williams – after meeting with IPC chair, Sir Michael Pitt – is that WAG will get to pick the ‘most Welsh’ from those appointed. (Whatever the hell that means.) Given past experiences we can expect to be ‘represented’ by someone whose granny once spent a weekend in Aberystwyth; another who was taught in school by Mr. Evans; and a third who owns a corgi. This is 21st century colonialism. And those useless bastards down in our Notional Assembly have agreed to it!
But look on the bright side. The IPC website offers a Welsh language service. England may still be riding roughshod over us, still treating our homeland as a colony, but at least you can read about it in Welsh! Hurrah! another victory for devolution! Yet more ‘respect’ for the language and those who speak it!
Come back Franz Kafka, for only you could do justice to the asylum that is Wales and the cowards and lunatics that claim to be running it.
The Government of Wales Act 2006 also made clear that water was an issue that would not be devolved to the Assembly. So direct rule applies for sensitive issues such as energy and water, despite their obvious importance for us in Wales. Does anyone else see a pattern emerging here?