Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Pass the parcel in Holyhead.

The row regarding who should fund extending the deep sea port in Holyhead to accommodate possible plans to convert the Anglesey Aluminium site in Holyhead into a wind turbine factory has erupted again. I have already previously written about it here and here and my views remain the same.

I would add this however: Ieuan Wyn Jones is this time quoted by the BBC as saying, "There is a fantastic potential for renewable energy projects but because ports are not a devolved issue, it is inappropriate for us to be allocating resources towards it". In other words, Ieuan Wyn Jones recognises what a fantastic opportunity this could be, but would rather try to score political points against Westminster than take action to create well paid jobs in one of the poorest towns in Wales.

Alex Salmond and Li Keqiang raising a glass
to scottish pragmatism (Photo: LA Times)
As it happens ports are not devolved in Scotland either but that has not stopped the Scottish Government strategically investing in their development. The Scots' pragmatic attitude was rewarded this week when the Vice Premier of China, Li Keqiang, started his four day trade visit to the UK in Edinburgh and signed a $10m renewables deal. Mr Li does not intend to visit Wales and Ieuan Wyn Jones's attitude makes it clear why.

58 comments:

Anonymous said...

You NEED to put this on an election leaflet when May comes round.
Just put the facts plain and simple (no politics).

And you'll see how angry people would be.

IWJ is starting to get on my nerves. I previously said I'd vote for him just to stop Labour, but I may be drifting from this.

Anonymous said...

It's the attitude of the politicans and the wasteful decisions made by the Welsh Assembly that needs to change. All our opportunities are being DENIED. And the excuses make us all look like fools.

The Scottish Parliament looks after it's people and it's country, our politicians allow us to suffer and to look humble and stupid when opportunities are denied us, the politicans make excuses as if we weren't fit to make our own minds up.

When will we ever learn? When will we say enough is enough! That day will be when every employer has left Anglesey...........

kp said...

Best thing I have read from you in a very long time!

But IWJ is a smart cookie; he knows that even if he did allocate state 'resources', such would eventually be wasted.

If we insist on maintaining our existing language and education policies we will continue to remain very unattractive to the outside world.

Indeed, we will only ever reap the 'dirty' investment that no-one else really wants (nuclear power, aluminium smelting and the like).

Anonymous said...

It's time that we decided what the future lies for Anglesey, decisions by Cardiff which come round once every few years, the leftovers from the table or do we do our own thing and get some real problems solved here. And I don't mean the spin from IWJ, he has left us years ago, we need new ideas and new issues, we need investment and we need it now. Where are the politicians when we need them?

Anonymous said...

The chinese trade visit to Scotland was a finetribute to Alex Salmond, the tribute to Ieuan Wyn Jones and Plaid Cymru are the desperate people clinging on to false hopes and shattered dreams.

Anonymous said...

Under the Barnet formula, isn't Scotland overfunded and Wales underfunded?

not only but also said...

I take it then Paul, you want ports to be a devolved issue, which makes sense, and would allow the Welsh Assembly to apply for European Funding. A very good idea, I hope you put pressure on the Coaltion Goverment to fast track this change.

The Red Flag said...

If we wish to look to Scotland as an example then perhaps the first step is that we ask that the Assembly be upgraded to a Parliament like Scotland and given equal powers.

Anonymous said...

England funds its own Port development, interesting. Is the pot they take the money from a pot which has already issued what Scotland should have and what Wales should have and the residue is for England. In the absence of an English Assembly I assum that is how it works....guidance would be appreciated.

Anglesey Islander

Prometheuswrites said...

I notice that there are repairs being made to the Brittania Bridge costing £4M.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-west-wales-12152074

"The scheme is a joint effort between Network Rail, the Welsh Assembly Government and the UK Highway Agency".

So if this work can be undertaken by a partnership between WAG, a UK national agency and a 'private' concern, then why cannot the same partnership approach be used with regard to Holyhead port?

Anonymous said...

Possibly because Network Rail is a private company charged with maintaining the national rail network, and its safety, they own the bridge ?? I'm guessing.
It is Stena who own Holyhead Port.

Anonymous said...

IWWho?
What a waster. He either represents Ynys Mon or he doesn't. As it is, he isn't showing that he does.

not only but also said...

Anglesey Islander

You may find the following article interesting:

http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/
news/1870045/scotland-launches-gbp
70m-ports-fund-trigger-renewables-
revolution

I’m sure like Alex Salmond, Ieuan Wyn Jones could have found a means of providing the funding, it's just a matter of what you call it.

Remember on the west coast, we only need one 'green' port - as pointed out before that may not necessarily be Holyhead- Liverpool or Mostyn Docks have a strong case as well as Milford Haven in the South.

Whether ports is a devolved issue is a bit of a side issue, sadly by the time it’s resolved Holyhead will have missed to the boat…

Prometheuswrites said...

16.01:
Indeed. Stena were who I had in mind - I'm sure they'll be able to access some EU structural funding stream as well.

Anonymous said...

not only but also...

Because ports aren't devolved. Are you saying that Wales cannot apply for grant funding on it?

If so who's responsibility is it for?

(btw the above a genuine questions!)

Paul Williams said...

Not only but also - yes, I would support the devolution of ports.

Red Flag - I have never satisfactorily understood why Scotland got a Parliament but Wales only got an Assembly.

Jac o' the North said...

Any money spent on facilities and infrastructure to manufacture wind turbines would be money wasted because time is running out for these useless and expensive white elephants.

Develop Holyhead by all means but it must be for something other than wind turbines, on which the subsidies will be pulled in a few years, and without subsidies there'll be no wind turbines.

not only but also said...

Anon 17:13 - Government is a creature of statute, and cannot therefore assume responsibility for themselves for something they do not have the power to do so.

Or in other words if it’s not written down in black and white somewhere that the Welsh Assembly have powers to spend money on improving docks then they cannot do so. Docks I think are regulated by the Department of Transport?

However they (WAG) do have powers relating to industry, and as they have done in Scotland they could have announced a grant in relation to WAG ‘Green’ policy and say if as a consequence of that, money was made available to improve ports to ease access to the shiny new factories more the better.

All I’m saying is where ports a devolved issue it would make it easier for Wales to apply for specific funding from the EU. We do have a large EU pot at the moment, which with some shall we say imagination and wording no doubt we could find a way to use.

As for Ieuan Wyn Jones – I think Paul may be right, Plaid Cymru wants greater powers for the Welsh Assembly, and nothing wrong with that, but this argument about funding is rather too convenient, sadly it may be at the expense of the people of Anglesey, which is unforgivable.

The Red Flag said...

Druid - It's historical. Scotland is a nation in it's own right from the Union. Wales because was conquered by England as opposed to amalgamated and is a Principality.

Anonymous said...

One of the most deprived places in Wales, deprived of work, deprived of employers, deprived of freedom, deprived of choice, deprived of the truth, deprived of justice, deprived of decency, deprived of democracy, deprived of life, deprived of decent social housing, deprived of everything, how wonderful to live in an Island called DEPRIVED.

Scotland, encourages everything, where as we discourage.

Anonymous said...

It's not a question of what nation, it's a question of who we are, are we destined to be second class citizens in our own country?

The Red Flag said...

Very interesting article in this week's Holyhead/Anglesey Mail. Basically ot bins virtually everything we have been saying abot funding. According to Energy Minister Charles Hendry (Con),"The port can bid for money from a Port Fund that has gone to the Welsh Assembley Government".

From that I assume he means - 'We've given you some of the money, which port you spend it on is up to you. If you need more find it elsewhere'.

So there you have it. Westminster has funded the WAG. So it's not a case of whether there is money, but a case of it's not enough.

Anonymous said...

There is never a straight answer, the last I heard was the WAG had no money, then Westminster says they have money for English Ports, why can't we get money from Europe, they must have finished building the port in Hamburg by now, since we flattened it in the last war, maybe the jerries might want to help us out?

Strapworld said...

I agree with Red Flag

kp said...

Imagine how wonderful life would be if we got rid of 'devolution' and went back to the old way of doing ..... we'd all be a lot more prosperous too (and probably happier).

But I doubt South Wales would agree.

the outsider said...

Bloggers - you may be interested in checking out www.doverport.co.uk
about the possible privatisation of the Port of Dover. It's a Trust and local people would like to buy it. The story rumbles on..

Dan said...

kp

I'm pro devolution, but sadly I think that purely on economic grounds areas like Ynys Mon may well be better off. And places like Cardiff wouldn't.

Yet who voted for it!?

Anonymous said...

Imagine how wonderful life would be if we got rid of 'devolution' and went back to the old way of doing ..... we'd all be a lot more prosperous too (and probably happier).

We weren't 'devoluted' when Thatcher was in power. And we were less prosperous and definately not happier.

Anonymous said...

You mean the time of Keith Best .... surely some of the best we have ever had

Anonymous said...

Keith Best

With a biography like his he would be ideal as a local councillor. Corrupt, teflon-coated and seemingly immortal.

the outsider said...

While thinking about funding for Holyhead Port I checked out www.plaidcymru.org. looked under 'Policies', then under the sub-section 'Think Reform'. I was surprised to find that in reference to the new funding formula suggested by the Holtham Commission, the author of the webpage, Ieuan Wyn Jones, refers to - I quote - "the current Labour Government in Westminister". Is there some more up to date information about Plaid's policies?

Photon said...

Let's remember that we only need £60 million to upgrade Holyhaed port. That's just a quid per head of UK population. I don't think that, even in the worst economic times, anyone could argue that would not be a quid worth paying for the likely benefits to all, including the rest of the UK.

I agree with Paul that this has become a self-defeating, embarrassing episode in Welsh politics. But then, the Con Dems are happy to keep us as second-rate citizens as well. Welcome to the Disunited Kingdom.

Anonymous said...

following on from Jac o' the North's earlier post ...

From The Guardian 26.10.10
"Vestas, the Danish wind turbine manufacturer, said today it would close five production plants across Scandinavia and cut 3,000 jobs.

The group said the surge in demand for wind power it had hoped for in Europe had not materialised and it would have to shift production away from Denmark and Sweden towards Spain to protect profits.

It is closing four plants in Denmark and one in Sweden, including one in Viborg where it has been manufacturing since 1989. The factory moves follow Vestas' decision to move production of turbines away from the UK last year, when it closed its Isle of Wight facility."

If one of Europe's largest manufacturer of wind turbines is scaling it's production down big style then why does it seem like a good idea to go building the things here?

chucking good money after bad?

Prometheuswrites said...

Wasn't the deadline for tenders/bids for the Anglesey Aluminium land up on Tuesday 11th?

Has there been news on any proposals or bids?

Paul Williams said...

Promo: the deadline has been extended slightly because of the snow before Xmas -- I think its now the end of this week. I spoke to King Sturge, the Agents, last week and they told me that they have received a number of offers but wouldn't tell me who from.

Groundhog Day said...

Albert Owen has been very quiet on this hasn't he? You would think that he of all people being a Holyhead boy and our MP to boot would be kicking doors down to get some funding. I recall when AA was closing a whole pile of money appeared as if from nowhere to try to save the plant. Now why can the same amount of money be found to fund the Holyhead modernisaton?

Anonymous said...

Could be worse:-

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/jobs/8258069/Manchester-job-cuts-city-becoming-like-Life-on-Mars.html

Anonymous said...

Promo: the deadline has been extended slightly because of the snow before Xmas -- I think its now the end of this week. I spoke to King Sturge, the Agents, last week and they told me that they have received a number of offers but wouldn't tell me who from.

Word is that two of the bidders are major haulage companies who want the site as a storage are for containers and lorry units in transit between Ireland and UK and surplus lorry units from around the UK.

Word also has it that most of the bidders want vacant possesion of the whole site.

The Red Flag said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Red Flag said...

Word is that two of the bidders are major haulage companies

Stobbarts was one I heard - as a 'hub' and that it was one of several sites they were looking at including Deeside & Flint

Prometheuswrites said...

If the site goes to a haulage company(s) then that should add some impetus towards developing the port.

Anonymous said...

"If the site goes to a haulage company(s) then that should add some impetus towards developing the port."

Depends really. Jusst because it might get used as a hub doesn't necessarily mean an increase in freight using the ferries.

And then again they may just use it as a storage site in which case it will make not a jot of difference to the port.

Anonymous said...

Just leave the port alone, it is fine as it is!

Anonymous said...

spoken like a true ludite

kp said...

Spoken like a fellow who knows that taxpayers money belongs to me (and you) ... and I (and you) DO NOT want idiotic politicians spending our money on things they do not understand.

Stick to refuse collection, road maintenance and snow ploughs!

;) said...

I thought a hub was in the center.

Holyhead isn't in the center of Wales or the UK, but if you include Ireland then Holyhead becomes central, as in a hub.

Anonymous said...

I quote "Word is that two of the bidders are major haulage companies who want the site as a storage are for containers and lorry units in transit between Ireland and UK and surplus lorry units from around the UK.

That is a more realistic scenario than the 'hub' rumour, particulalry with sea-transited freight in and out of Ireland down 20% all the way from Scotland right down to South Wales and stagnant and what's more expected to be no better than stagnant for the next 2-3 years at least.

Strap World said...

Red Flag
Can you disclose the source or is it just tittle tattle in local coffee houses?
My position in this is as a mere spectator

Anonymous said...

A Stobbarts clerical employee from Manchester. But it would be chatter really as they are only a manager and I doubt they would have firm knowledge just what work colleagues say.

The Red Flag said...

Strapworld - The above post was me (site wdidn't take my name for some reason). I should also add I know a driver but he doesn't know anything at all specific other than they are looking for sites all the time but tend to select ones that have easy access to motorways.

voice on the street said...

Stobart Ireland operates from its own offices, warehousing and cross-docking facilities located at the Ferry Port in Dublin, as well as a dedicated facility at Hawley's Lane, Warrington in the north-west of England. The business was formed as a dedicated operating arm to service Northern and Southern Ireland, and operates around 20,000 vehicle movements from Ireland to the UK every year. A dedicated Irish management team with experience of the logistics industry in Ireland are at the helm of this expanding business.


Given the above, why would Stobarts be interested in Holyhead? Rumours on this Island are rife. The reality is we need to change outsiders perspectives of us. That should only take a couple of decades.

Anonymous said...

Given the above, why would Stobarts be interested in Holyhead?

Given that lorry firms sub-lease space at hubs to other hauliers why would any haulage firm come here.?

Give that holiday traffic for the ferries is in long term decline why would anyone bother redeveloping the port?

Given that there is a wind turbine facility already in place at Mostyn why would anyone bother with here when they could expand something that already exists?

Got a bit of a problem really then.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12.34

Some answers and comments for you:

Given that lorry firms sub-lease space at hubs to other hauliers why would any haulage firm come here.?

Where's the nearest hub then ???

Give that holiday traffic for the ferries is in long term decline why would anyone bother redeveloping the port?

Its not in decline - tousrist tarffic is pretty good its the freight market thats in a dip at the moment due Irish Economy

Given that there is a wind turbine facility already in place at Mostyn why would anyone bother with here when they could expand something that already exists?

The Mostyn facility is far to small for whats coming to the Irish Sea - take a look at what they call a wind turbine facility in Europe you will see what I mean

Anonymous said...

Groundhog Day said...
Albert Owen has been very quiet on this hasn't he?

Is he still around ?? could be that he is busy scouring the island for a mug that would be daft enough to put his name in the hat for AM in May

Anonymous said...

Where's the nearest hub then ???

Down Chester way I think or Warrington or Middleton. There isn't a need for one to come here unless there were a massive upswing in freight traffic. Is that likely?

Its not in decline - tousrist tarffic is pretty good

Six years ago the HSS did 4 round trips a day. It now does one but only in the summer months with the smaller Lynx 3 doing the winter. Passenger traffic just about held it's own over the last 12 months thanks to the volcano. Sadly, volcanos don't happen every week.

The Mostyn facility is far to small for whats coming to the Irish Sea - take a look at what they call a wind turbine facility in Europe you will see what I mean

The Mostyn facility is about to be expanded - in fact there was a blog on it in here several months ago with links to the website. The Danish windfarm complex is having funding withdrawn because it is a cash blackhole that swallows huge amounts of money for very little productive purpose and they are trying to sell much of what exists it off but can't find buyers whilst cancelling future expansions of it.

Anonymous said...

Viva la differance

I was one day in the office of a customer in Scotland whe they got a visit from an Highlands and Islands Development Board rep. The rep asked all about the business frit's beginnings to the (then) present day. After hearing the whole story the H&IDB rep said
"This is what we could do for you"

When I approached the Welsh Development Agency and later their successors they said "What can we do for you" in no way was it explained what they could offer. That mindset continues. IWJ has pulled th plug oncommercial exporters and apart from groundless gestures they have nothing to offer. No wonder the Chinese liked Scotland.

Anonymous said...

Albert turned up telly this evening re the Coastguard thing. At least with that he could look serious wax lyrical and gravely about possible loss of life etc. With everything else he is as out of his depth as a wombat in downtown Brisbane.

Anonymous said...

Albert Owen will maintain his dignity until he is voted out, it's your choice, he has left us with nothing, his legacy will be .....nothing.