16/06/2013 The Wales Report


With Tim Rogers. Should the Welsh and UK governments work more collaboratively to kick-start the Welsh economy? The programme speaks to secretary of state for Wales David Jones.

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do the UK and Welsh government need to cooperate more closely to


kick-start the Welsh economy? Choppy waters ahead for a coastal


redevelopment for Jake that is promising hundreds of new jobs in


Holyhead? And do you know what is about to be delivered through your


letterbox? Bringing animals into the country in this fashion is dangerous


to them and circumvents the order controls and our security. The Wales


report. Good evening and welcome for the second of our special programmes


from different locations across Wales. This evening we are by the


seaside. Tonight we will be continuing our examination of the


corner me to follow one from a special season of programmes which


have been looking at the stories find the statistics. Businesses


first up on our agenda. It has seven years since the Welsh development


agency was scrapped. It attracted international companies and


investment into Wales but what has happened since? Some say, not


enough. We are asking at the UK and Welsh government is working closely


together enough to bring money in and will business up? Our reporter


has more. This office was regarded as a powerhouse. The driver of Welsh


job creation. It was the headquarters of the Welsh


development agency. Now it is empty. From 1976 to 2006 it was going to


the Welsh development agency to promote international trade and


support businesses right across Wales. It was acquiring goal and


from what was its head waters here in Cardiff, it was able to use


government money at arms length. It helped start-ups and to persuade


multinationals to relocate here. But things are not like that any more.


Now the strategy is completely different. The Welsh government have


brought everything in-house. No politicians, civil servants and


devious Welsh government agencies are behind financial support and


encouraging business worldwide. For entrepreneurs like this man whose


manufacturing firm is in Lenard and, not having a single high-profile


dedicated trade body separate from the Welsh government is confusing.


As a business person in South Wales I have no idea what the Welsh


government is doing to help business at the moment. That should not be


the case. It is frustrating when you do look back on supporting


infrastructure that we have had previously. This is not about


putting the begging bowl out asking for money, it is about the


networking and contract. The whole infrastructure seems to have


evaporated and made the whole process less transparent. At least


when there was an organisation, it was not perfect but at least there


was an organisation with some structure that you could navigate


around if you wanted to get involved in something. In 2060 development


agency marketed Wales around the globe but that stop. At the time


crime goes became notable for wasting public money. This man


acknowledges that for his tenure the Welsh development agency did have


its problems but he flags up to relatively recent reports which have


summed up the sens incompletely scrapping what was and apparently


still is an important brand for Welsh businesses around the world.


If you go around Wales and ask industrialists the general opinion


is that the service we divided was far superior to that provided by the


Welsh assembly government. The brand of wheels as the country doing


business also disappeared. The minimum value of that brand was �50


million. We were the best known brand in the Hall of Western Europe


as bad as economic development went. In word investment took a


nosedive after the devise -- demise of the Welsh development agency. It


left us vulnerable when the global downturn hit. According to this man


the emphasis is on eating opportunities for young people and


helping indigenous dismisses to grow and making sure they had access to


markets and finance. There was too much focus on foreign investment,


satellite investment, investment that was going to clearly disappear


with economic troubles. What we are focusing on now is nurturing


home-grown companies, looking for companies that have the potential to


be big economic leaders in the future. Business owners and leaders


who spoke to our programme agree on one thing at least, there needs to


be a strategic joint trip porch -- approach if Wales is to be a


successful global player. For months the secretary of state for Wales and


the first Minister have them telling us they would like the governments


took what break more closely wherever it is appropriate.


Encouraging enterprise would be a good base to start. These are


sentiments echoed by this man who says it doesn't matter who deliver


support so long as the advisers have it speedy and is, the system is


simple, and both of and can help them access finance and roared


full. In October we are attending a trade show in the US which is the


largest in our sector. We are looking to put on an event at the UK


embassy in Washington. That is the sort of thing the UK government,


Welsh government and anybody involved would want to get involved


in. I would have thought it would be all over us wanting to make this


happen but it is not. It will be in spite of the infrastructure that is


in place as opposed to because of it. Now I am joined by the secretary


of state for wheels. Thank you for coming in. There was a time when you


sat on an aeroplane almost anywhere else in the world and you would see


in front of you on the screen and advert from the Welsh development


agency extolling Welsh business and telling you it is a great place to


come and work. Do you stall there demise? I do. I think a lot of


business people and politicians in Wales do believe it was a bad step.


I very much hope the Welsh government would think about


replacing the WDA with a similar organisation run for business able


by business Eagle. It was acquiring goal and toadies endeared the any


are opposed to government crime goes, in that sense do you think it


was such a bad thing to get rid of? -- Tories. I do. The Chief Executive


of the all WDA announced his resignation on the day that Roger


Morgan announced its closure. run by Islamist people who


understood the needs of business. That is what is missing at the


moment from the Welsh government was Mike development operation. They


have not got that understanding to have an economic development


programme and inward investment. So what has happened? We have gone from


being the top one or two for investment to the bottom. There has


been some reversal of that trend but overall the performance has been


rather dismal. Do you talk to the first Minister about this?


economy is top of my agenda and I hope it is top of his. I do talk to


him. I cannot speak for the first Minister but what I would say is


that we need to do a lot more between us because it has two be a


joint effort to make wheels are more welcoming in word investment


destination. I was raised the Welsh government agreed to have a


significant improvement in the Welsh foreign investment. That will


continue for a few more months yet. The sort of operation which we need


is starting to hear fruit. -- bear fruit. You are supposed to be


working together for the common good but how does that work in reality?


We meet at least once a month and I speak to him on the phone. We can


pick up the phone and speak to each other which we do regularly. Mostly


it is arrangements between officials. Is this working?I


believe it is. Since we started working closely with the Welsh


economic develop and apartment we have seen a significant increase in


the number of foreign direct investment objects in Wales. Let us


take as an example the newly flawed for the M4. I have in pressing HM


Treasury. We have made it clear in terms of broad infrastructure in


Wales that the M4 relief road has two be top of the agenda. We have an


announcement by the Chancellor coming up. We could do with a bit of


good news, if you have got it topped up your sleeve shared it with us


now. There is a time and ways for everything and with all due respect


this programme is not the place for that. What about the cut from Wales


to Westminster? That is the wheels of this is cut, it is not in respect


of the Loch brand, that announcement has not made. We are expecting a


major cut. How much have you in fighting in Cabinet to try to resist


that? Health and education at alias that are rejected at Whitehall, they


are for, the impact for wheels will be much less. They cut you are


talking about is the cut in my offices spending on below. It is not


a cut in respect of the Welsh bloke rant. Do you understand that? --


Welsh block grant. You are talking about a substantial cut when we need


we can get, how are you going to defend it? Since the last election


wheels has done better than other Whitehall departments, it's spending


has been protect it. There are those who have their heads in the hands


wondering how they will cope. up to the Welsh government to decide


how to distribute the local authority grant in Wales. Wheels has


to be confined by spending reductions. So you are passing it


down the line? That is not the case. Since the last spending review


wheels has had six million pounds more. It is not because of the


legacy from the last government. -- �600 million more. Wills has even


protect it more than many departments. Jobs versus the


environment is an age-old argument. There were joint forces to be


developed the waterfront. There are also plans for Fishguard,


Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock. On Anglesey the Council gave the


company the go-ahead to come up with detailed lands ROM sing hundreds of


new jobs but it has not all been plain sailing since then. Far from


it. As storm of local opposition has blown up and our reporter has even


out to see, to find out why. This is the view that people get, the


beach, the promenade and the green beyond. If the development goes


ahead, it will be a very different scene with townhouses and apartments


right along here. Out here, there will be a new marina for 500 boats.


Those opposed say that if that happens, the jewel in the crown of


same harbour, there is already one for 300 boats, hasn't filled the


sales of those at the local sailing club.


This club has been here since 1916, Pat is a long time. 108 years.


the club go out of business? Yes, it could. The land bound aren't too


happy either despite the promise of hundreds of jobs as well as 320


townhouses and apartments, retail facilities, a maritime museum and


workshops if the development goes ahead. Leading the local protest


campaign is a couple who had planned to retire when they moved into their


waterfront apartment overlooking the proposed development. Instead, they


find themselves trying to chart their way through unfamiliar waters.


It is a terrible thing to take away a natural piece of coast line from


the people of Holyhead, in the way that is being intended. We feel it


is wrong. This is our heritage, it is cultural and somewhere for the


townfolk to enjoy the peaceful tranquillity of the only natural


coast line available. The couple are the authors of a best selling book


on stress management. Now they are experiencing their own very


different kind of stress with accusations. A misconception is we


are against all development. We are not. We are Ford of elements which


is appropriate and suitable. Despite the fact that the development is in


a conservation area, and is a departure from the development plan


of the authority, the company has succeeded in persuading North


Anglesey council to give outline planning permission for their


ambitious plans. Councillors have succeeded in drumming up thousands


of signatures against the plan. They have delivered it to the Welsh


government who sent it straight back.


This is an attack on the democratic process of development. We need to


make sure local people are brought in at an early stage.


The local Labour MP is for regeneration. But he too has his


reservations. At this stage, the proposal is far


too dense and large and out of sync. It can be redeveloped into a good


project so people can be comfortable with it, local people will not be


denied access. The local town council has been


overwhelmingly supportive of the development. But cracks are


appearing, at least one newly elected Independent councillor has


consistently opposed the scheme. The lack of communication and dialogue


has been appalling, from the town council, developers and county


council. I am ashamed of our council for not


communicating or taking any recognition of the 4000 people of


Holyhead who opposed this. Those opposed to the development of


vocal enough. Those behind the scheme are less visible. But there


had to be a way of navigating their way to some kind of response from


them. We did ask to speak to the chief


executive of the investment company whose headquarters is based in


London. The company said they were interested in doing an interview but


not yet. It said they would get back to us.


We also wanted to speak to a representative of the ferry company


but it said there were no senior managers available. We eventually


caught up with them, who gave a short statement. In which they


described the development as a significant opportunity to help


drive forward economic prosperity with the provision of what they call


one of the most innovative marinas in the UK. But, what about the


council who gave the developers outline planning permission 12


months ago? Surely they would have something to say? The new leader of


the council took office just a few weeks ago. Proclaiming


optimistically that the authority could now look forward to the future


with confidence. Not enough confidence, it seems, to stand


before our camera and answer questions about the Holyhead


waterfront project. Councillor Williams rang to apologise, saying


he was trying to get up to speed with a million different things


associated with his portfolio, and he did not feel he had enough


background information to do what he calls a credible interview. The


Holyhead project could prove to be the first big test for a council


just back from the political sin bin, after a period under the


control of Welsh government commissioners. A crucial element of


the plan is the provision of jobs. Everyone agrees those are badly


needed in Holyhead. But there are conflicting claims about how many


and what kind of jobs the development will create. The company


says it will provide work for 350 people. We hear the continuous cry


of more jobs, something for the youth. We feel that is totally.


Economy, the sort of jobs we are talking about are not the kind of


jobs that Holyhead deserves. When it comes down to it, for a handful of


jobs you will destroy an environment and I do not think that is a price


we should pay. I don't think the people of Holyhead want that.


understanding is, in light of the local authority planning


requirements and the objections and representations of local protesters


and politicians, the developers are revising their plans for the


waterfront. There had to be local jobs had this to be acceptable to


local people and planners. I want to see tourism and industry


side-by-side. A key component of the development is control of the lease


on the land needed for the project to go ahead. Currently it is in the


hands of the council. But the council has authorised its officers


to negotiate its surrender to the development company. If that


happens, those opposed to the scheme fear it will be game over for the


waterfront. Both supporters and objectors are now waiting to see


what the developers put forward in support of their arguments for what


could be one of the most important, if one of the most controversial


regeneration schemes on the island. An island badly in need of some good


economic news. Believe it or not, demand for exotic


pets has increased significantly in Wales in recent years. Which has


prompted concern that live animals brought from foreign websites are


being sent through the regular post to avoid border controls. One of


Britain's leading wildlife experts who works regularly with South Wales


police to investigate wildlife crime has been looking into this issue for


We live in an age of instant gratification but everything we once


-- with everything we want at the push of a button. The Internet


offers convenience and opportunity but that raises questions of


personal responsibility which are not being addressed. Exotic pets are


a case in point. More popular in Wales than ever before, spiders,


lizards, are adorning our homes across the country. While these


creatures hold a strong fascination, I am concerned about


the ease with which they can be acquired. Does this make them akin


to a new pair of trainers than a live and potentially dangerous


animal that should be handled with respect and expertise. I keep many


animals myself. They come into my care, often they have been neglected


abandoned. Impulsive online purchases sent through the regular


mail. Anybody who truly cares about such animals would make sure they


were experienced -- were delivered with an experienced animal career


with proper documentation and that correct facilities existed to


maintain the welfare of this animal throughout its transit. There are


dangers beyond the safety of the animal. Many online sellers are not


under the same regulations as pet shops in the UK. This is one of the


desert hairy scorpions kept in the UK as a pet. They're staying is


mildly venomous. Like a hornet sting. They do get mistaken for the


fat tailed scorpion. The difference is the difference between a


relatively nasty sting, and an utterly deadly one. I work regularly


with the South Wales police. I am at Cardiff University to discuss the


implication of exotic animals being sent through the post. In your time


serving, have you come across exotic animals sent through conventional


post? Yes. We have had a number of


instances in the last few years where either counter staff contact


us having concerns about a certain package. Or, indeed, individuals who


have received packages within the postal systems, and have concerns


about what they have found. Surely this must be breaching some type of


law legislation? I mean, it is a really good question. The actual


offence of putting a creature in a box and sending it through the


delivery system, there isn't one. The only thing it may breach is an


individual or company policy. It is an area that I think needs looking


into the country in this fashion is harmful to them, dangerous to us and


it circumvents the security of our border controls. I love all sorts of


animals but for me it is not the exotic which is interesting but


their ability to adapt and excel in their own environment. That is why I


find them attractive. If these purchases aren't made out of a


genuine desire to learn, it may be resulting in a flagrant disregard of


animal welfare. It must make us think of our response abilities as a


society. Regulations are failing to keep up with the pace of change. The


market is booming under the radar and the only thing keeping it in


check is our own sense of personal responsibility. We have a real duty


to treat these animals with the respect they deserve.


Tim Rogers stands in presenting the current affairs series taking a look at issues that matter in Wales and asks decision-makers about the consequences of their choices. Should the Welsh and UK governments work more collaboratively to kick-start the Welsh economy? The programme speaks to the secretary of state for Wales, David Jones.

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