16/06/2013 The Wales Report


16/06/2013

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

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

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redevelopment for Jake that is promising hundreds of new jobs in

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

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

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:01:55.:01:55.

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

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

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

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seaside. Tonight we will be continuing our examination of the

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

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have been looking at the stories find the statistics. Businesses

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

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agency was scrapped. It attracted international companies and

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

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

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

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

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job creation. It was the headquarters of the Welsh

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

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the Welsh development agency to promote international trade and

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support businesses right across Wales. It was acquiring goal and

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

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

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

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Now the strategy is completely different. The Welsh government have

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

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devious Welsh government agencies are behind financial support and

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encouraging business worldwide. For entrepreneurs like this man whose

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

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dedicated trade body separate from the Welsh government is confusing.

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

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

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

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infrastructure that we have had previously. This is not about

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

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networking and contract. The whole infrastructure seems to have

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evaporated and made the whole process less transparent. At least

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

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was an organisation with some structure that you could navigate

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

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

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crime goes became notable for wasting public money. This man

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acknowledges that for his tenure the Welsh development agency did have

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

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summed up the sens incompletely scrapping what was and apparently

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

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If you go around Wales and ask industrialists the general opinion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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the emphasis is on eating opportunities for young people and

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

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

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satellite investment, investment that was going to clearly disappear

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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took what break more closely wherever it is appropriate.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Welsh government and anybody involved would want to get involved

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:09:04.:09:14.
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come and work. Do you stall there demise? I do. I think a lot of

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

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I very much hope the Welsh government would think about

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replacing the WDA with a similar organisation run for business able

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

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

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

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

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Morgan announced its closure. run by Islamist people who

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

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moment from the Welsh government was Mike development operation. They

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have not got that understanding to have an economic development

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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joint effort to make wheels are more welcoming in word investment

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

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significant improvement in the Welsh foreign investment. That will

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

:11:34.:11:44.
:11:44.:11:45.

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

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

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

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

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it is arrangements between officials. Is this working?I

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

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economic develop and apartment we have seen a significant increase in

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:12:32.:12:32.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:14:09.:14:19.
:14:19.:14:20.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

:15:01.:15:08.

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

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

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

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protect it more than many departments. Jobs versus the

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

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developed the waterfront. There are also plans for Fishguard,

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Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock. On Anglesey the Council gave the

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

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

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

:16:21.:16:31.
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out to see, to find out why. This is the view that people get, the

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

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

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

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

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

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sales of those at the local sailing club.

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

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

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

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townhouses and apartments, retail facilities, a maritime museum and

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workshops if the development goes ahead. Leading the local protest

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

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waterfront apartment overlooking the proposed development. Instead, they

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find themselves trying to chart their way through unfamiliar waters.

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

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

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

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townfolk to enjoy the peaceful tranquillity of the only natural

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

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on stress management. Now they are experiencing their own very

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different kind of stress with accusations. A misconception is we

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

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

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

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of the authority, the company has succeeded in persuading North

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Anglesey council to give outline planning permission for their

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ambitious plans. Councillors have succeeded in drumming up thousands

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

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government who sent it straight back.

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

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

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

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reservations. At this stage, the proposal is far

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

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

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denied access. The local town council has been

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overwhelmingly supportive of the development. But cracks are

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appearing, at least one newly elected Independent councillor has

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consistently opposed the scheme. The lack of communication and dialogue

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

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council. I am ashamed of our council for not

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communicating or taking any recognition of the 4000 people of

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Holyhead who opposed this. Those opposed to the development of

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

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

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them. We did ask to speak to the chief

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executive of the investment company whose headquarters is based in

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

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

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

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

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

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described the development as a significant opportunity to help

:21:34.:21:38.

drive forward economic prosperity with the provision of what they call

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

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council who gave the developers outline planning permission 12

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

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the council took office just a few weeks ago. Proclaiming

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optimistically that the authority could now look forward to the future

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

:22:09.:22:13.

before our camera and answer questions about the Holyhead

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waterfront project. Councillor Williams rang to apologise, saying

:22:18.:22:23.

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

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

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

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

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

:22:43.:22:45.

control of Welsh government commissioners. A crucial element of

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

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

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

:23:01.:23:08.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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understanding is, in light of the local authority planning

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requirements and the objections and representations of local protesters

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and politicians, the developers are revising their plans for the

:23:49.:23:56.

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

:23:56.:24:00.

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

:24:00.:24:06.

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

:24:06.:24:11.

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

:24:11.:24:16.

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

:24:16.:24:22.

to negotiate its surrender to the development company. If that

:24:22.:24:27.

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

:24:27.:24:33.

waterfront. Both supporters and objectors are now waiting to see

:24:33.:24:37.

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

:24:37.:24:43.

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

:24:43.:24:47.

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

:24:47.:24:56.

economic news. Believe it or not, demand for exotic

:24:57.:25:02.

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

:25:02.:25:05.

prompted concern that live animals brought from foreign websites are

:25:05.:25:12.

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

:25:13.:25:16.

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

:25:16.:25:19.

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

:25:19.:25:28.

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

:25:28.:25:33.

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

:25:33.:25:37.

offers convenience and opportunity but that raises questions of

:25:37.:25:43.

personal responsibility which are not being addressed. Exotic pets are

:25:43.:25:48.

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

:25:48.:25:54.

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

:25:54.:25:58.

creatures hold a strong fascination, I am concerned about

:25:58.:26:03.

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

:26:03.:26:08.

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

:26:08.:26:14.

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

:26:14.:26:19.

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

:26:20.:26:24.

abandoned. Impulsive online purchases sent through the regular

:26:24.:26:29.

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

:26:29.:26:35.

were experienced -- were delivered with an experienced animal career

:26:35.:26:41.

with proper documentation and that correct facilities existed to

:26:41.:26:46.

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

:26:46.:26:52.

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

:26:53.:26:59.

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

:26:59.:27:03.

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

:27:03.:27:09.

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

:27:09.:27:16.

fat tailed scorpion. The difference is the difference between a

:27:16.:27:24.

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

:27:24.:27:31.

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

:27:31.:27:34.

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

:27:34.:27:39.

serving, have you come across exotic animals sent through conventional

:27:39.:27:44.

post? Yes. We have had a number of

:27:44.:27:52.

instances in the last few years where either counter staff contact

:27:52.:27:57.

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

:27:57.:28:02.

have received packages within the postal systems, and have concerns

:28:03.:28:07.

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

:28:07.:28:16.

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

:28:16.:28:20.

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

:28:20.:28:27.

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

:28:27.:28:31.

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

:28:31.:28:41.
:28:41.:28:50.

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

:28:50.:28:54.

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

:28:54.:29:01.

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

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

:29:04.:29:12.

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

:29:12.:29:21.

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

:29:21.:29:27.

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

:29:27.:29:30.

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

:29:30.:29:35.

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

:29:35.:29:40.

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

:29:40.:29:45.

to treat these animals with the respect they deserve.

:29:45.:29:51.

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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