|Llandudno conference reading matter|
A Freedom of Information request I made reveals that WAG business support funding has been overwhelmingly funnelled to South Wales firms at the expense of those in the North. Out of a total of £48m in business grants offered since last July (when Ieuan Wyn Jones' flagship Economic Renewal Programme was introduced) just £7m has been received by North Wales firms. Furthermore Ynys Môn -- the poorest place in the whole United Kingdom and struggling with over 2,000 job losses -- has received just 1% of that total.
This is how the figures break down regionally when we correct for relative populations:
|Total business grants per region per head of population|
Whereas North- and Mid-Wales has received on average around £10 per person, South Wales has received much more - in the case of South West Wales two and a half times more. Here is how it breaks down by each local authority:
|Total business grants received by each local authority per head of population|
Click to enlarge.
Anglesey received just £7.05 per head -- less than half the average of £16 per head across Wales. Indeed had Ynys Môn received just the average amount of funding, we should have received another £630,000 pounds over this period -- money businesses on this Island desperately need. And I'm sure our friends at Plaid Wrecsam will have something to say about their home town having only received WAG support equivalent to 68p per head, compared to £70 per head in Newport, South Wales.
Ieuan Wyn Jones is the WAG Minister for the Economy -- the man with his hands on the levers -- why isn't he ensuring that his own constituency is getting a fair share of this vital WAG business support money? As for the Welsh Labour party: they should amend their conference slogan from "Standing up for Wales" to "Standing up for (South) Wales".
You can see the actual FoI request replies here and here, and the spend table released as part of the second FoI request is below.