Thursday, 9 December 2010

++ Ynys Môn still poorest place in UK ++

According to the latest GVA per head figures for 2008 released by the Office for National Statistics this morning, Anglesey is still the poorest locale in the whole United Kingdom:

Bottom five GVA per head 2008
click to enlarge

If we compare the bottom five for 2008 with those for 2007 the one bright spot is that at least Conwy and Denbighshire has managed move up and out.

Comparing the Bottom Five for 2007 and 2008
click to enlarge

Personally I'm not surprised to find Ynys Môn still stuck to the bottom of the prosperity league table. I don't know about you but I haven't detected a sense of urgency by the Welsh Assembly Government to tackle Anglesey's economic problems. Just last week we learned that Holyhead is the worst place in Wales to find a job with 7.4 benefit claimants for every advertised job. The latest official data regarding European convergence funding on Anglesey revealed how over three years only 102 new jobs have been created on the Island -- compared to a University of Wales estimate of 2,100 private sector jobs having been lost over roughly the same period. Similarly, the EU JEREMIE funding figures revealed that Anglesey-based companies had received less than 0.1 percent of the total spent in Wales. On top of that, Agriculture -- one of the Island's largest employers -- has been in decline for some time and likely to suffer further due to the expected abysmal uptake of the new WAG Glastir agri-environmental scheme. Do either our current AM or MP have a vision or a plan how to improve the situation...?


Photon said...

"Do either our current AM or MP have a vision or a plan how to improve the situation...?"

The short answer is: no!

This is why we all need to support you, Paul, in your candidature for the Assembly. It's time a new generation of politicians took over from the Cold War guard.

kp said...

It's up to the people of Anglesey to do something about it, no-one else.

Just like a heroin addict who always wants more heroin, North Wales in general and Anglesey in particular always wants more of other people's money.

We should be disgusted with ourselves!

Brawd o Amlwch said...

No surprise there !
The sad thing is that neither IWJ, AO, or anyone in IACC have any idea or vision for the recovery of Anglesey.
The People need new blood !!
But, don't lose sight of the fact that we are extremely rich in other assets, if not economic.

Anonymous said...

This not surprising at all ! The way things are, we have created this problem. What has happened is that we have created a monster of bureaucracy that stifles any growth or development that could created wealth. This bureaucracy is a drain on businesses that could create a better future.
I am sure in saying that there is an army of people employed by the government sitting on there backsides thinking how to make things difficult for people either in work or who could create more work.
Until we start doing away with this monstrous bureaucracy the present situation will remain the same and will get worse !!
So come on "Druid" bring on the revolution we need to create a better future for all !

Un o Fon

Anonymous said...

The EU grant receiving bodies must be rubbing their hands in glee, after all, "your failure is our success".

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the figures for the amount of grant aid and structural funding that Anglesey has recieved since the Objective One EU funding and other initiatives came on-line in the early 2000's and what has come out of the funding?

There's Communities First, Holyhead Forward, etc, that make the headlines, but I'm sure there must be some other projects and start-ups that have produced real business outcomes and jobs, (apart from plush offices and some nice glossy brochures telling us what a good job has been done).

What sort of bang are we getting for our bucks?

Anonymous said...

Our failure, exactly, we hae failed, because for years we have let our hearts rule our heads, we always thought that things would get better, an opportunity was just around the corner, but nothing came. We have let ourselves down, by believing that we could get ourselves out of this chaotic mess. The large employers that we depended on have left us, all of their memories should be eradicated, their lingering stops us from moving all, we should systematically reduce them all to rubble, the Octel, The Anglesey Aluminium Plant, why? because every time we see them, it reminds us, of the past, and we live in the past, remove them and maybe it will help our recovery.

The same priniple applies to the Politicians who have abandoned us all, remove, and replave with new.

Anonymous said...

Must be close to £100 million already blown.

Anonymous said...

Off-Topic I apologise !
Is it not a hell of a cheek that JAJ on behalf of the Bodffordd Community objectors has asked the Council to waive its £4750 legal fees for defending its decision on the Bodffordd bio-digester....a decision properly made and confirmed as such by the Court...and now the bill has landed on JAJ's mat he wants to pass it on the Anglesey ratepayers......cheek of the man !

;) said...

So it's not just here on the island then!

Anonymous said...

Parachuting David Bowles into Anglesey to solve our problems is like paying Alex Ferguson to manage Llangefni Town FC.

Anonymous said...

David Bowles should have installed people from the Welsh Assembly to look into breaches of Human Rights on Anglesey by Anglesey County Council, and only then would we realise that we could trust him, however he did not, therefore we cannot, nor can we ever believe the man.

Word verification carthu cytiau

Anonymous said...

Over my dead body JAJ. Over my dead body.

Anonymous said...

Is 'carthu cytia' Welsh for 'Humans Rights'?

Or am I as far away from being right as this boring Anon who keeps prattling on about Human Rights this, Human Rights that?

Anonymous said...

If were not for the Human Rights Act you would have, most probably been gassed long ago.

Anonymous said...

Hello Druid,

I know I am off track here but have you an answer?

When watching programmes such as Night Cops or similar, I am appalled at the number of police officers required to deal with the street fights, bad behaviour etc etc by those tipped out of the pubs and clubs. Anglesey must have some similar problems. So my question is:

How many hours in total are in volved in policing Anglesey per week AND how many of those hours are used up on alchohol related street problems?

Officers can only work so mny hours and if a major proportion of hours are 'lost' then the public are not getting their fair share of police attention.

Anglesey Islander

Anonymous said...

Long ago sounds like before last May.
Human Rights act came in under Labour. Are you saying that they had plans to gas some people and were prevented because of this Act?
Do spill the beans. Could be the makings of a scoop here.

Anonymous said...

9 December 2010 22:55:-

On the spot fine aka ASBO or a good old fashioned Court appearance.

A perfect example is the ageing Welsh Politician who was up in front of the judge yesterday for fighting in a night club.

kp said...

And just who was that politician?

Anonymous said...

This thread nicely demonstrates why Anglesey is so poor.

The Red Flag said...

KP said.....

And it's not as clear-cut as Anon 10 Dec 03:12 'suggests'.

Richard Sletzer said...

BENEFIT CLAIMANTS: I guess that if I was out of work and claiming benefits then Anglesey is just about the nicest place I could think of to live.

Once ensconced in the benefits system with weekly income being paid for by other taxpayers and you council house rent paid for you by other tax-payers you are set up for life. There's no need to work and you can claim "There are no jobs". r

That - of course - is simply untrue. There are plenty of jobs no matter how unskilled you are - but taking them means the end of your comfortable existence on benefits and - horror of horrors - could mean you'd actually need to pay your own rent.

Meanwhile across the Straits on the Lavan Sands - East Europeans are out on the low tide combing for cockles. They make around £600 a day.

Why aren't Anglesey people doing this? After all anyone from Anglesey could do it - but the problem is that it's not only work - it's hard work.

...and taking a a job makes no sense as long as the Government will pay you for doing nothing and will pay to keep a roof over your head.

Unemployed people aren't stupid.They make a hard-headed and perfectly logical choice. It's more convenient to live without having to work. ...And it's costing the rest of is more than we can afford.

kp said...

Thanks TRF ..... interesting! Thank goodness it wasn't one of our's!

kp said...

Be careful Richard Sletzer, you are beginning to sound rather like me!

It's an age thing, the older you get the more grumpy you become!

Anonymous said...

Richard Seltzer:

Well mate your most welcome to swap with me.

Contribution-based Jobseeker's Allowance = £64.30 max
IoAAC Local Housing Allowance: £75/week for a single bedroom flat.

Total = £139.30/week = £557.20 per four week period (minus £50 extra rent) = £507.20 per month to buy food, electricity, water rates, heating, travel, clothes,(basics)and pay excess rent = £51.80 per week.

(remember this is max allowance) - & council tax is paid for by the council.

So Richard, if you could kindly explain how to live (high on the hog) on £52 per week I'd be very interested to hear - maybe we could arrange a 'lifestyle swap' for say 3 months - you give me your income and I'll give you mine - you can't say I'm not generous eh?

And yes I'm 'borrowing' a mate's internet connection to write this.

Nooka said...

Wales - an entity on benefits!

Wales has failed to create wealth -i.e. doesn't work and is therefore eligible for(and entitled to) European benefits.

Benefits are an entitlement for those eligible. A progressive idea I realise. Perhaps you'd rather have a situation where your less fortunate fellow human beings are on the streets begging for food in a state of absolute poverty. Then you could complain about the hapless poor not even being able to feed themselves and look after their own health.
There but for the grace of Lloyd George and others ...

Prometheuswrites said...

KP said: "North Wales in general and Anglesey in particular always wants more of other people's money. We should be disgusted with ourselves!"

What are you suggesting as an alternative? Picking up on Nooka's post about Wales being eligable for EU funding streams as an entitlement, would you be suggesting that we (Wales) refuse the grants/funding benefits and maybe give it to say Romania or Bulgaria?

Don't get me wrong I'm very critical of how the EU finances work (The EU audits have not been signed off for years now and corruption and filtching of monies is rife), but when money is available to help those countries with the poorest standards of living then it should be grabbed with both hands and made to work by enabling infra-structure and 'seeding' proper manufacturing businesses.

kp said...

Year after year, decade after decade we waste the money.

Adam Price wants us to have more money because we are so poverty stricken. In truth, we should have less and less because we always waste what we have been given!

Let's grow up and work out why we cannot attract the right sort of people to stay on the island or indeed come to the island to live and work.

Think implementing a single language policy for education and business (but speak as many languages as you want)

Think improving the education system by bringing in outside help (and do it at double warp speed)

Think reducing taxation at every opportunity (reduce rates, remove indirect all taxes such the IoACC has control over)

Think facilitating but not doing (meaning stop meddling pests within IoACC who invariably promote the wrong sort of business investment decisions)

Think trying to make sure we apply common sense (energy island with it's nuclear power, land and sea windmills, etc. just doesn't sit well with year round holiday tourism, areas of outstanding natural beauty, picturesque scenery, etc.)

To be honest, just think!

Prometheuswrites said...

KP: Thank you for that ... now I agree ... common sense debate and discussion are the way to figure out our problems and start to tackle them ... this is much better than emotive statements 'dissing' those of us who are trying to bring about change ... though as I've said before it will take in the region of 10 years to shift cultural attitudes, (and I don't mean Welsh culture here - I mean, institutional; business; and educational culture/practices).

Richard Sletzer said...

TO ANONYMOUS - (The contributor on benefits being paid £500 a month)

Let me give you some advice. Like you, I couldn't get a job in Anglesey either.

So instead of claiming and spending other people's money - as you are - I did what you should do. I moved.

I would much rather live in Anglesey - but I did the socially responsible thing. I did not claim benefits. I didn't expect other people to pay for my subsistence, my shelter or my food. I left Anglesey to find work elsewhere.

I suggest you man up, get off your backside and do the same....or you could always go and pick cockles,

kp said...

But Anglesey is a most marvellous place to be when you can live off benefits .................

And therein lies the rub!

Anonymous said...

To Richard Sletzer: Sure thing - now where would you recommend going to - you know a place where there plenty of jobs (or just one) going for someone who's in their 50's and has been self-employed in the farming sector for the last 30 years.

It's the same with the Tory welfare-to-work policy - they have missed the last bit out - there aren't any jobs - I saw that one of the police forces advertised 6 jobs and had over 7,000 applicants - I may as well sit tight and buy a lottery ticket.

And you, so you've not the balls to stay around and change things for the better, but buggered off to where the living is easy and now whinge and complain from a distance. Do us all a favour, stay where you are and stick a sock in yer gob.

The Red Flag said...

Tell me something 'Richard Sletzer', how do you propose that people with no savings move?

And why should people move? If a government cannot provide work where it's people are, then it serves little purpose or relevance.

Expecting the poor and the unemployed to move away whilst encouraging (through Marina developments etc) the better off to come is little better than ethnic cleansing.

It strikes me you probably admire that dosgusting Thatcher woman.

kp said...

Sorry guys, but here's my take on the problem.

People with no work on Anglesey have plenty of time to make babies. These babies are educated by the 'state', poorly educated, unable to find work and so, in time, have even more babies themselves.

The problem worsens.

It's time we started to understand that it isn't the job of the state to educate your kids. Sure, as a last resort, okay. But state educated kids, by and large, are getting a raw deal. They have always gotten a raw deal. And from now on it will get worse.

And of course it isn't up to the state to provide jobs or housing. Sure, they do, but only as a last resort.

No, what we have all got remember is this. Firstly, if we chose to have kids, these kids are our responsibility, meaning the responsibility of the parents! And this responsibility lasts a lifetime.

Secondly, if things go wrong in life, as they so often do, and always at the wrong time, firstly look to and then blame your own damn parents!

And then ask for help, help from your parents and friends and enemies and then finally the state. But don't be embarrassed to ask for help, help from whomsoever. We all need help at one time or another to get through life.

Whatever else, the state should always be able to offer help, real help. But that help may often necessitate a complete change of lifestyle, location and outlook.

But once you get back on your feet you are free to change again. Change back, change forward, change sideways. Being free of the state allows you to decide how you want to change.

It sounds so easy and I know it isn't. But we have got things so wrong at the moment I do very much worry about the future.

As for the gentleman who has all that agricultural experience I would say look to your strengths. Can you drive, do you have a car .... there are so many opportunities for you at the moment, just change your mindset, change your prejudices and re-invent yourself!

I wish you every good luck.

Anonymous said...

Thursdays full Council Meeting.

One might ask how the council is doing following 12 months of intervention?

From Thursdays meeting I have to say in my opinion the County Council is in a worse state now than ever.

The Chairman of the Council, Selwyn Williams couldn't even Chair the meeting without David Bowles's intervention on just about ever question from the floor. In essence it was David Bowles who was Chairing the meeting.

The Portfolio holders couldn't even answer the most simplest of question regarding costs to the taxpayer and because Cllr Bryan Owen asked a very straight forward question which Bowles's did not like, he jumped up and attacked the Cllr, exposing his now well known abusive bully boy tactics.

In all, considering David Bowles was sent to help sort out the Council's problems, David Bowles has now become the Problem and if Thursdays meeting was anything to go by, the Council has no chance of survival as long as Bowles is still here. Which brings me to conclude that is exactly what this whole sham of intervention is amid at.

Anonymous said...

Couple of questions:

1. Are these council meetings open to the public?

2. When do they take place & how does one know about them?

3. Portfolio holder means Councillor (elected member) or Officer (employee of council)?


Anonymous said...

All Council meetings are open to the public.

Meetings go on throughout the year. Dates etc.. can be found on the Council web site.

Portfolio holders are the elected Councillors on the Executive not Officers.

Prometheuswrites said...

Part 2

Property prices aren't falling on Anglesey but aren't as high as in the area's where the work is, so people who do want to move to get work and are home owners will lose out financially, and the only people who can afford to buy up property in the housing market on Anglesey at the moment are the dis-proportionly rich or property speculators. (Remember there aren't many jobs here to come to and earn that wage that pays the mortgage).

Part of what is causing these problems in employment and housing is the accelerating wealth gap.

Germany doesn't have these problems and it's the second biggest exporter (2009) in the world and is propping up the whole of the Euro-zone economy (and by consequence ours) and it doesn't have a huge wealth gap.

If the state doesn't educate our children and by the same argument that poor people should leave they ergo won't be able to afford private education for their children, then the consequence will be a big influx of foreign skilled workers, likely from countries where they have educated their children through the state for free (like in Finland).

Just because we're not doing things well is no reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater - every 'capitalist' business I've worked with always says 'value your people as they are your most valuable asset. I believe that's true for our children here on the island, so let’s educate them well and for free.

Prometheuswrites said...

Part 1:

"Anglesey council in benefit letter blunders"

Interesting debate above; It illustrates the fundamental beliefs we have about the relationship of the individual to the state. I'm sure there will be more said about what the responsibility of the state is towards the individual, however regarding practical matters on Anglesey, this article from the Daily Post, (apart from the obvious concerns raised by the headline issue), contains this information:

"The probe found that of 11,640 letters due to be sent containing Benefit Notification details ..."

This information tells us that there are 11,640 individuals on the island in receipt of council benefits (not state benefits - that will probably be even more people). Now that's got to be a fair size portion of the adult employable population.
There point I'm leading to is whether those commentors who think that the state has only a modicum of responsibility towards the individual should stop supporting these people so that they have to move away to get jobs, (and as Anon said, where?).

It wouldn't be ethnic cleansing, it would be poverty cleansing.

PrometheusW said...

Sorry for posting in reverse order, however my posts keep dissappearing from the thread after they have initially shown.

A problem with blogger?

Anonymous said...

Poverty cleansing has been happening in Anglesey since the mid 1970's the poorly educated stayed, and are still poor, the educated left and never returned, they were the luck ones. The people who stayed and had work where those whose families had work and opened the right door for the, that's why the Local Authority is the main employer here, and has families working there for years.

Best way for poverty cleansing is to stop people moving here and claiming benefit, ie from large cities. Liverpool etc, they come here on holiday or for seasonal work, and never go back.

Anonymous said...

Conygar Stena Plc., described Newry Beach, Holyhead as "Surplus Water-frontage".

If they get the go ahead and sell 500 unaffordable homes they will turnover approximately £100 Million.

Not bad for "Surplus Water-frontage".

Anonymous said...

Yes well apart from their employees, it's a surplus town with a surplus population. I'm sure that to enhance the value of their investmet secretly they'd prefer the town levelled, landscaped and the peasants moved on.

Anonymous said...

Anglesey Council were offered to purchase "The Port" in the 1970's and they declined in preference for building Plas Arthur.

Had Anglesey Council have bought the port of Holyhead, Anglesey would be a much wealthier place.

Twats got it wrong

I rest my case!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
the outsider said...

Re Farming on the island.

Without the contribution that farmers and landmanagers make to the countryside Anglesey would not be so attractive to holiday makers, yet there are few mechanisms for rewarding them for the environmetal management that they do.
Glastir is one possible way (but I have endless bloody box files and that's just to get the Single Farm payment). Less red tape would be a good start!

Also when farmers diversify, yes that old buzz word, which they have been encouraged to do then then get clobbered by extra business rates (where they had no liability for agricultural premises) and Capital Gains tax, which in case you haven't noticed has just gone up to 28%.

Now farmers can't sell off their land very easily in strips so they have to pay the tax, unlike shareholders who can easily sell a few shares at a time and legally avoid the tax by staying within the annual allowance. It is the Liberals who are responsible for getting the increase agreed by the coilition. However it was George Osborn who removed taper relief and indexation relief, both very important for farmers.
Unlike some businesses if a family farm is not making much money (and the average annual income for UK Family farmers is about £7,000 per annum), then they have no choice but to sell not only the business but their family home as well. The current tax system does not recognise this, but bankers still get their bonuses even though we taxpayers will be paying for their mistakes for years to come!

In my opinion the Council should focus on ways to help the island's smaller farmers, not just tennant farmers and young farmers, though I agree they need help too.

And on a brighter note, now the £ has been devalued and we owe everyone in the world so much money, there must be opportunities for small scale farming projects and local producers. And without support the future just might hold something worse, such as the 'super farmers' as reported in The Sunday Times (Business section)this week. They are investment bankers and commodity traders who are buying up vast tracks of land around the world so they can "take charge of every step of the process from farms to freighters to food companies and on to the supermarket shelves". One such new farmer/ex commodity trader has an operation more than twice the size of Wales!