Saturday, 10 September 2011

Plaid supports recalling Local Development Plans

Today's Plaid Cymru conference heard a motion submitted by the party's Wrecsam branch to scrap the use of Welsh Government population projections and not to support LDPs that push housing development beyond local need. The motion was supported unanimously by members.

In a speech to conference, Plaid Cllr Carrie Harper said: " Welsh Government stats are currently forcasting over 320,000 new houses for Wales over the next 20 years and most of these houses are being catered for now in our Local Development Plans. To put these numbers into perspective, that will mean two new cities the size of Cardiff plus another town the size of Wrecsam. These houses are not based on local housing need within Wales but instead are aimed at attracting further in migration into the country. The vast majority of these houses will not be affordable for the majority of the Welsh population."

"The Labour Government say they're standing up for Wales, well we say they're concreting over it."

Plaids north Wales AM Llyr Huws Gruffydd went on to say: "The concern being expressed by councillors and local communities across Wales is how the Labour Government and senior civil servants in Cardiff are imposing targets on councils that are way out of line with local need.

"It appears they (Labour) are continuing the errors of the past decade, which saw a free-for-all for developers that has already put pressure on infrastructure such as our transport network, schools, health services and social services. We do not want to continue to repeat this mistake."

Plaid Cymru are already part of a national campaign by Deffro'r Ddraig, who have submitted a petition to the Welsh Governments Petition Committee. The Petition calls for all Local Development Plans across Wales to be recalled and for housing numbers to be brought in line with genuine local needs. The petition will be heard by the committee at the end of November.


Jac o' the North said...

Actually, I wouldn't blame the Labour Government, except by neglect and inactivity.

The true culprits here are the civil servants and their allies in the senior ranks of Welsh local government (and, again, I do not mean the elected representatives).

What the LDPs saga shows is that we have a civil service in Wales that far from serving and answering to the Welsh Government follows a London line because it is still answerable to Whitehall.

To remedy this the Welsh Government must assert its authority over the civil service by bringing in legislation to serve Wales and making senior civil servants understand that they now take orders from Cardiff Bay.

If the Welsh Government refuses to do this, or if senior civil servants refuse to comply, then we have a sham devolution. A Welsh Government huffing and puffing while the real decisions are still taken in London and implemented by civil servants in Wales still loyal to London.

Ultimately, the only answer is a new and Welsh civil service structure answerable only to those we in Wales elect. But we'll need a Government more forceful than the current one to achieve this obvious and desirable outcome.

Plaid Queensway said...

I agree with everything you say above about the civil service Jac, however Labour have a great deal to answer for, they were instrumental in forming the West Cheshire Plan and issued documents supporting it (See 'By our common endeavours' by K. Sinclair). We brought up the issue of the LDPs and population projections with Labour Ministers when we submitted the previous petition to WAG, they refused to acknowledge any of the issues. Additionally not one Labour politican is supporting the campaign to recall the LDPs to the best of my knowledge (several have been asked to). If this is just neglect and inactivity, then presumably we won't have to fight to get this petition through, let's see.

Jac o' the North said...

I stand corrected. However, I think we should distinguish between what was done, or agreed to, before legislative power was achieved and Labour's position today.

Because now that the Welsh Government has the authority over planning and housing there is no excuse not to initiate a proactively Welsh agenda.

By simply following the old, and flawed, agenda Labour leaves itself open to criticism: either for being anti-Welsh or simply too lazy to do anything.

Knowing the Labour Party in Wales, and its current leader - now watching rugby in New Zealand - it's almost certainly a combination of both.

Ben Digedig said...

Agree totally with this blog on the LDPs

How about a blog on Plaid's schizophrenic attitude to Nuclear power.

The party is by and large against it but the party leader lives in an area with a proposed new nuclear power station.

A friend has suggested to me that at the recent Plaid conferenece, he felt that a group of middle aged women seemed to just turn up for just the vote on the ammendments to the resolution that Ieuan desperately wanted conference to vote for. My friend tells me the ammendment was carried by only 1 vote!

It would seem these women saved Ieuan's skin and may help him get re-elected next time!

I am sure there is no truth that Ieuan's local party branch encouraged people to turn up purely for the nuclear vote, but my friend feels something was not 100% kosher with the way some people seemed to turn up for that vote then go.

So, how about a blog on the difficulties Plaid has with the whole nuclear issue? Would like to know what Plaid Wrecsam think about it. Come on Plaid Gwersyllt...what do you think?