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Hart and request a review of the Welsh government decision on River Lodge, Ken Skates Labour AM for Clwyd South has withdrawn support following publication of this information to the press.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.