Saturday, 3 September 2011

AMs demand Public Inquiry into treatment of Powys Fadog

Finally it looks as though the civil service will be brought to account as regards their handling of the Powys Fadog project in Llangollen.

Two north Wales Assembly Members are now demanding a Public Inquiry after years of unexplained delays and attempts to stop the project. Plaid AM Llyr Huws Gruffydd and Conservative AM Mark Isherwood have written to Carwyn Jones expressing concerns about the appalling way the group have been treated. From 2005 until 2010 the project had been approved by the management team of the WDA, the then Minister of the relevant department Andrew Davies and later was also approved by the subsequent Minister Ieuan Wyn Jones. All these decisions were mysteriously over-ruled by the Permanent Secretary for Wales, Gillian Morgan. She has never given an explanation despite numerous enquiries from members of the public, Powys Fadog and even Assembly Members.

It’s not very often that politicians from different political parties agree on much, however in this case the blatant discrimination inflicted on Powys Fadog by the civil service is clear for all to see. There is no doubt that the problems started following political interference by Karen Sinclair (the then AM for Clwyd South) but as is pointed out in this excellent blog post by Jac o' the North ‘she could have done nothing without the help she received in Cardiff’.

The time has come for our politicians across the political spectrum to hold the ‘Welsh’ civil service to account. The Permanent Secretary for Wales is currently only answerable to her boss down in London, the Cabinet Secretary Gus ‘O Donnel. We must demand that she now becomes answerable to the people of Wales.

The civil service will no doubt fight tooth and nail to prevent a Public Inquiry into Powys Fadog, of course they will not want all the sordid details of their actions to be laid out in full public view. However, it is vital for the Welsh democratic process that this Inquiry does take place. This 'politicians v’s civil service' showdown will play a significant role in determining who exactly is in charge of our country.

For more info direct from Powys Fadog regarding the way the project has been treated, please click here.


Despite agreeing in a meeting with Powys Fadog's board to write to Edwina Hart and request a review of the Welsh government decision on River Lodge, Ken Skates Labour AM for Clwyd South has withdrawn support following publication of this information to the press. Instead he is now calling for a Health centre at the River Lodge site. The original request for a health centre came from Karen Sinclair (former Labour AM for Clwyd South). In a series of letters to Ministers back in 2009 she attempts to discredit Powys Fadog along with requesting a Health Centre at the site instead.


Jac o' the North said...

The Powys Fadog project must now be given the go-ahead and then we need to establish why it was so blatantly obstructed.

This cannot avoid an examination of the way civil servants in Wales operate. For it is insane to have a legislative assembly in Wales working with bureaucrats whose loyalties are not to Wales.

Eventually we must have a separate Welsh civil service answerable to the Assembly and loyal to Wales.

Anonymous said...

"Finally it looks as though the civil service will be brought to account as regards their handling of the Powys Fadog project in Llangollen."

Is that the case? If two AM's call for a public inquiry will that be enough? I doubt it. But I really don't understand these matters. I hope there is an inquiry in this case though. I've heard about this case and I live in Carmarthenshire.

Jac o' the North said...

Anon, I'm not holding my breath for a public inquiry either but the relationship of an essentially English civil service to a Welsh Assembly is increasingly under scrutiny.

In the medium term it is unsustainable because it devalues democracy, especially with a 'lazy' government in Cardiff that is quite happy to allow this civil service to carry on with implementing English policies.

In the longer term, and especially as the Assembly gains more powers, the only viable, or acceptable, solution becomes a separate civil service answering to no one but those we elect and, therefore, by extension, to us, the Welsh people.

Anonymous said...

Who would make the decision on a public inquiry, Carwyn Jones or the Permanent Secretary? Neither will be keen to explain this one as they're both implicated. When the rot goes right to the top who do you turn to? These AMs are going to have to stand their ground and call in someone independent to get to the bottom of what's gone on here.

Anonymous said...

Of course the scheme should have been obstructed... it was clucking bonkers.

Pol said...


What is bonkers about teaching self discipline,respect and instilling a sense of responsiblity in young people as well as fostering an ability to concentrate?Or what's bonkers about holding effective residential Welsh language courses,affordable for locals? Please explain why transforming an eyesore of a building into a social enterprise ,providing 30 jobs, childcare faclilities and training for employment and business as well as bringing in 1 million pounds a year into Llan should be obstructed.
/what a strange attitude!

Anonymous said...

Pol - self discupline, respect, responsibility should be the domain of parents not a taxpayer funded project. Furthermore welsh language education should be the domain of educational establishments, you leave affordable housing to housing associations and this eyesore of a site can be transformed commercially without the need for wasting taxpayers money.

Finally I believe your belief that it would bring £1 million a year into Llangollen is completely clucking off the scale.

If you really have ambition for your project there are dozens of existing venues that you can hire. Whether or not any venues would take a booking from such an organisation is another question.

Pol said...

Anon 20.25 (AKA Phil Wynn) Your'e making yourself out to be a back stabbing snake in the grass again mate. Do your self a favour.Maybe you could do with coming on one of my courses to gain some sense of self worth......You sound very bitter and twisted.Your'e actually at one with the people that have covertly been suppering our efforts to make a positive difference to the lives of local people and offer genuine opportunities, and thats sad.Feel for you mate.