09/11/2009

Inquiry into St Athan DTC and Aerospace Park

Inquiry into St Athan DTC and Aerospace Park set for 12 January

Emyr Jones of the Planning Inspectorate held a preliminary meeting with Inquiry participants last week (3 Nov) and announced that the Inquiry would be held for about 3 weeks from 12
January in the Docks Offices in Barry.

There are 21 objectors notified at present, with several professional firms, as well as Llanmaes Community Council and Friends of the Earth (Barry & Vale).

The Inspector said the major reconstruction of the Weycock Cross junction and new Port Road approach had attracted many objections and he proposed to treat this part as a separate mini-Inquiry.

On the St Athan projects themselves, he said the Welsh Assembly Government would have to make a compelling case in the public interest for the compulsory purchases, and would have to
show a clear idea of what the land is for, that resources will be available for the developments within a reasonable time-scale and no planning impediments exist that might block them.

Max Wallis of Friends of the Earth said the Inspector’s emphasis on his independence from the Welsh government is welcome. He asked for disclosure of contractual arrangements between
the Assembly Government and Metrix. Max Wallis also expressed concern
that WAG's Counsel (Andrew Porten QC) proposed to give evidence only on
aspects of the case that bear on "delivery of the scheme".

The Inspector said he would allowfurther objectors to join the Inquiry, saying there is nothing to preclude others from taking part. He set 15th December as the date for
submission of Statements of Case.



The Inquiry Programme Officer is
Andrea Thomas (c/o Sarah Manning 01443 335617)

28/10/2009

Jane Davidson turns a blind eye to St Athan PFI

Welcome to MILTARY WALES - ST ATHAN SCHOOL FOR MERCENARIES -

Welsh Assembly Minister JANE DAVIDSON decided NOT to call in this controversial application! Her decision was NOT TO INTERVENE! We have to formally request the papers relating to this to find out what reasons were actually given for not calling this in!

Political lackeys all of them as the decision is made to follow their Westminster bosses like sheep!

Cynefin y Werin View Why they should have called it in!


The Cynefin y Werin network represents NGOs/ organisations active throughout Wales, concerned with engaging on Welsh national and international issues.

We were aware of your letter (WAG) to the Vale of Glamorgan Council of 28th May 2009 ref. P/DC 2009/00500&005001.

We note that the Vale’s Planning Committee resolved on 24 September to notify you of their intention to grant planning permission for these two developments which are departures from the development Plan. They did not decide – and would not notify you – of the significance of the departures. Nor did they specify the issues that they did not consider, in particular the arguments over security, with the DTC being a prime target for ‘terrorist’ attack and aerospace work on military systems up to the most sensitive level.

Our objections to the applications included a request for call-in by the Assembly Government.

We view these planning proposals as environmentally and economically unsustainable; based upon an unsound, speculative aerospace prospectus; socially undesirable for the locality and community; presenting security risks to people locally and in Wales as a whole. In view of the grave importance to all the people of Wales, as well as those in the Vale of Glamorgan, of these proposals we are appalled that both Applications are NOT to be called in by the Welsh Assembly Government for further examination and for Public Inquiry.

We note that the criteria call-in cover developments that inter alia

* could have wide effects beyond their immediate
locality;

* give rise to substantial controversy beyond
the immediate locality;

* raise issues of national security; or

* raise novel planning issues.

All these points apply, if we interpret ‘national’ as Wales and ‘novel planning issues’ as covering the aerospace/military security concern. The aerospace business park is a speculative venture
that has not passed normal business criteria but blights a large area for development plans for 15-20 years hence.

St Athan Inquiry

St Athan Inquiry - Whats happening?

The Inquiry is over the Compulsory Purchase Orders for St Athan developments

Cynefin y Werin will be objecting at the public inquiry (thought to be in January) using the case submitted on the planning applications.

The Inquiry will cover the St Athan aerospace business park and technical college (DTC) developments with housing towards Llanmaes, and associated highway proposals.

Local people are particularly objecting to new roadway with housing development for DTC personnel on the green fields towards Llanmaes, saying this should go within the camp area. The farmer and owner of Batslays farm is also objecting.

Other people can still join in (at the Inspector’s discretion) and should best get a short letter in before the pre-Inquiry meeting on 3rd Nov. It could be a written statement,

Pre-Inquiry Meeting over St Athan developments and CPOs 3rd Nov

The pre-meeting called by the Inquiry Inspector, Emyr Jones of the Planning Inspectorate
is being held in the Council Chamber in Barry's Civic Offices on Tuesday 3rd Nov. at 10am.

People who might wish to contribute at the Inquiry can contact Sarah Manning (01443 335617

or sarah.manning@wales.gsi.gov.uk) to check in for the pre-meeting.

The principal official Adrian Edwardsn (01443 335618) is helpful and advises that people can join objecting to the CPOs till near the end of October, don't need to be owners/users of the land, and can raise the wider issues concerned with the whole area of the developments.

E-mail goes to Adrian.Edwards or sarah.manning@wales.gsi.gov.uk.

WAG's Statement of Case which ranges very wide - challenges

to any part of that will be valid (eg. claims to implement economic and social well-being of Wales, as quoted above).

WAG statement of reasons


Worth having a lookat if the link works or write to me and I will send a copy
The Welsh Assembly Government and R Morgan have denied that they have been involved inthe planning of this scheme and there has been no discussion in the welsh assembly as they claim it is a Government issues so they can't or rather won't do anything about it!
This is the biggest PRIVATISATION ever! The entire military training machine is moving to Wales! And it is to be run by METRIX including arms dealers RAYTHEON - QINETIQ and other war profiteers!
Plaid Cymru have sold out WALES for a few cleaning jobs...this job relocation not job creation!!

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3 JUSTIFICATION FOR THE SCHEME

History

3.1 The Scheme has grown out of three objectives:

(a) to minimise and redress the anticipated detrimental effect upon the Welsh economy and upon the local communities near St Athan of the consequences of the threatened closure of RAF St Athan (December 2000);

(b) to seek to build upon the opportunities presented by the availability of aerospace facilities and local expertise in that industry to create an international aerospace “centre of excellence”; and

(c) to achieve regeneration of the vacated areas of RAF St Athan in a comprehensive manner in accordance with the policies of the Welsh Assembly Government.

3.2 To achieve these objectives the Welsh Development Agency (“WDA”) initially worked with Defence Aviation Repair Agency (“DARA”) to retain a viable future in Wales for DARA by re-locating it to a purpose built facility with WDA creating a commercial aerospace centre of excellence alongside it.

3.3 Early in 2001 an option was investigated to locate this new facility at a greenfield site adjoining Cardiff International Airport, but this proved unviable on technical, spatial, planning, environmental and cost grounds. It was then decided to locate the entire project at St Athan and negotiations to acquire the necessary land progressed from late 2001.

3.4 On the 14 August 2003 the WDA acquired a 125 year lease (with an option to acquire the freehold of all except the runway and directly related areas) of some 293 hectares of the former airfield and the nearby sportsfield and golf course at RAF St Athan from MoD. The residue of the RAF base (approximately 40 hectares), known as West Camp, was retained by MoD and is exclusively occupied by the Armed Forces.

3.5 The acquisition formed part of a legal agreement made in 2003 (known as the Composite Agreement) and reflected a unique partnering arrangement between MoD and the former WDA, with the support of the Welsh Assembly Government, to promote three principal elements at St Athan known as Project Red Dragon :

(a) a state-of-the-art aircraft maintenance facility (Super Hangar);

(b) the rationalisation of MoD’s requirement for infrastructure at St Athan; and

(c) the acquisition of most of the St Athan site by the WDA (with a view to redeveloping and regenerating the aerospace park in the longer term).

3.6 To achieve this the Composite Agreement envisaged the phased handover of land with vacant possession from MoD to WDA as rationalisation of the DARA business plan proceeded and fast jet work re-located to the Super Hangar (completed 2004). In order to enable the handover to proceed smoothly some areas were leased back to MoD on terms varying from 15 to 125 years depending on the phased anticipated departure date of all MoD occupants. The golf course was leased to the RAF St Athan Golf Club Ltd. As part of this process all the RAF elements of MoD on the site re-located into East Camp at the same time as DARA re-located into the Super Hangar. The Welsh Ministers have possession of the remainder subject to a small number of buildings and land areas let on short leases or tenancies pending redevelopment.

3.7 Through the Defence Training Review (“DTR”) MoD is seeking to provide a more streamlined and efficient military technical training programme for the three armed Services via a Public Private Partnership (“PPP”) arrangement. In October 2002 interested parties were invited to bid to deliver six UK wide specialist training streams which were arranged into two Packages of training.

3.8 WDA identified this major public / private sector partnership as a valuable complementary activity to the aerospace park and, in parallel with the negotiations to acquire the St Athan site WDA, in conjunction with DARA and private sector partners, applied in early 2003 for inclusion in the bidding process.

3.9 Between January and September 2003 a WDA consortium, (in association with DARA and others) successfully completed the Stage 1 bidding process for the training package relating to aviation and mechanical engineering (Package 1 of the DTR). The Consortium was subsequently selected by MOD to proceed to the next stage of the competition but this was not ultimately progressed as one of the companies in the consortium pulled out in early 2004.

3.10 However, the Welsh Assembly Government and the WDA pressed MoD to promote St Athan to bidders as a possible site for defence training. In February 2005, Metrix approached the WDA to discuss bidding for both packages of defence training at the St Athan site. From May 2005 onwards, WDA worked closely with the Metrix team to promote the bid and demonstrate that the key stakeholders, including local government and education agencies, could deliver the necessary infrastructure and support. Metrix submitted bids for both Packages at St Athan in October and November 2005.

3.11 On 21 July 2006 the Welsh Ministers granted MoD an Option Agreement for alternative 25 year leases to create their project. On 17 January 2007 Metrix was selected as preferred bidder for Package 1 and provisional preferred bidder for Package 2 at St Athan. Affordability issues with both packages (a major issue in the case of Package 2) led to a period of seeking an amalgamated solution capable of delivering significant overall economies of scale and consequent cost savings which proved unsuccessful in identifying a workable solution acceptable to MoD and the Treasury.

3.12 MoD decided to proceed only with Package 1 and, in the light of that decision, the Welsh Ministers have agreed in principle to replace the Option Agreement with a New Agreement. Under the terms of the New Agreement, the Welsh Ministers will transfer parcels of land to MoD in exchange for MoD transferring the freehold interest in the ABP to the Welsh Ministers and making a compensating payment based on a fair and reasonable sharing of value, benefits, costs and risks.

3.13 The terms of the New Agreement will make provision (inter alia) for common planning strategies, the provision and funding of surveys and infrastructure works‘, and the transition arrangements required to relocate existing MoD users. The Welsh Ministers will commit themselves to use all reasonable endeavours to achieve acquisition of required property interests using compulsory purchase powers if necessary, but the New Agreement will acknowledge that the exercise of the powers, duties and discretion of the Welsh Ministers cannot be fettered or in any way limited by that commitment.


. VIEWS OF DEPARTMENTS OF THE WELSH ASSEMBLY GOVERNMENT

The only department having a comment and whole heartedly supporting this is DCELLS!

10.1 Shame on The Department for Children Education, Lifelong Learning and Skills (DCELLS) has been working closely with the Department for the Economy and Transport (DE&T), MoD, Metrix and other partners to support the development of the DTC and ABP.

10.2 The development will create training, employment and career development opportunities

for the unemployed, newly qualified, young people and workers seeking new employment.

It will create new opportunities for local businesses and stimulate economic growth. The ABP

will also attract inward investors creating the need for additional highly valued skills for knowledge based employment. This will substantially increase the number of apprentices and offer local employment to Welsh graduates.

10.3 The development will provide existing Higher Education and Further Education Institutions with opportunities in training and research including curricula development,

instructor delivery in new learning techniques, links to industry on an international scale, increased opportunities for commercialism and the potential for the creation of Centre’s of Vocational Excellence




12/10/2009

Sodexo Gareth John boasts of deal in wales..

Boasts from Gareth John, Sodexo in The Lawyer - London,UK Sodexo general counsel Gareth John’s team deals with more than just catering contracts, with the company branching into PFI and prisons management.

..company employs 43,000 people in the UK and Ireland, providing food and facilities management services at more than 2,300 locations. Sodexo’s business ranges from food and security at Royal Ascot and the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, to food for schools and universities, to a variety of services - laundry, receptionists, FM - in the healthcare, leisure and defence sectors.

Sodexo also operates four prisons in the UK and Ireland, adding a layer of more unusual work for the legal function.

Most of the 14-strong team’s work focuses on client contracts, which often service a mixture of public and private sites. These range from a straightforward catering job at a golf tournament to the UK’s largest PFI deal - the £12bn Defence Training College (DTC) in St Athan, South Wales...lots of low pay work coming to Wales just the thing we need most???..

The DTC is a big deal for both the company and the legal team. In February Sodexo won a 50 per cent equity stake in Metrix UK, the consortium appointed by the Ministry of Defence to manage, build and run the new academy, due to open in 2014.

(dodgy dealings...and how did that process work...open competition..or what?)

“It’s a sign of the ambition of the organisation,” claims John. “We’re heavily involved as a participant in the consortium.”

Such complex PFI contracts throw up unusual legal clauses. In prisons and hospitals, for example, the triggers for payment can be related to the number of beds available.

And working on prison contracts that include the legal ramifications of death in custody is something new for the former Transport for London legal head....

Kalyx is a wholly owned subsidiary of Sodexo Justice - Correctional Services

Yes we've looked at this company before ..servant to war profiteers and willing to work for anybody....and not a cheep from assembly members (who frequently point out injustice in the world rather selectively..) and silence about deals being done behind closed doors..

  1. ANTI-METRIX: Sodexo Meals Support Deportation and Oppression

    Video of the protest outside Kalyx-Sodexho headquarters. photographs of Kalyx-run HMP.... Raytheon by Corp WatchThe threat of private military companies. ...
    www.antimetrix.org/.../sodexo-meals-support-deportation-and.html -Cached - Similar -
  2. ANTI-METRIX: Sodexho = Low Paid Low Skill Jobs

    Tony Leech Managing Director of Kalyx Joined Sodexo 2003 Responsible for the ....Raytheon by Corp WatchThe threat of private military companies...Raytheon ...
    www.antimetrix.org/.../sodexho-low-paid-low-skill-jobs.html - Cached - Similar -

Name: Gareth John
Position: General counsel
Organisation: Sodexo UK and Ireland
Industry: Food and facilities management
Reporting to: Chief executive UK and Ireland Aidan Connolly
Company turnover: £1.1bn in the UK and Ireland
Total number of employees: 43,000
Total legal capability: 14
Main external law firms: Ashurst, Beachcroft, Eversheds, Davenport Lyons, Devonshires, DLA Piper, Lindsays, Shadbolt, SJ Berwin
Total legal spend: £4m (estimate)
Education:
1986-90: LLB (European) Hons, University of Exeter and Universite D’Aix-Marseille
1990-91: Law Society finals, College Of Law, London
Work history:
1992-97: Trainee/solicitor, Frere Cholmeley Bischoff
1997-2005: In-house counsel/head of legal, Hewlett-Packard UK and Ireland
2005-09: Director of legal and compliance, Transport for London
2009-present: General counsel and company secretary, Sodexo UK and Ireland


25/09/2009

largest ever pfi approved

Don't forget the contract has not been signed yet!

From an article in the Times 'The contracts that are near to being signed include the Defence Training Review, a £12 billion PFI which all army training will be centralised at one base in Wales.The contract has been awarded to a consortium that includes QinetiQ, the defence research company, but the final sign-off keeps slipping amid rumours that the MoD is unhappy about the price.' Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at BGC Partners, a City brokerage firm, said: “There is not a single defence project that cannot be cancelled between now and the end of the defence review, so I can understand why the industry is pushing its case to get them signed as soon as possible.”

St Athan is also faced with green meadows being seized for a northern access road and housing (www.wix.com/stathan/stag), because brownfield land within the base is reserved for aerospace aspirations. And Welsh taxpayers are to pay the £20 million for unneeded roads, under WAG’s contract with Metrix for the Defence College. At least, there is to be an Inquiry into Compulsory Purchase Orders, where WAG’s steamroller can be challenged. http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/engineering/article6848237.ece

fROM THE TIMES

Defence companies push Government for contracts
http://business.timesonline.co.uk/tol/business/industry_sectors/engineering/article6848237.ece
David Robertson
The defence industry is pushing the Government to sign equipment contracts worth up to £20 billion in the next few months, in an attempt to prevent the projects becoming a victim of cost-cutting next year.

Industry insiders have told The Times that intense lobbying pressure is being brought to bear on the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in the hope of getting big deals signed quickly.

The companies are concerned that if equipment contracts are delayed, they will be caught up in potentially severe budget cuts after the election.

Even those projects that survive the cuts are likely to be swallowed up by the Strategic Defence Review, to which both Labour and the Conservatives are committed. This is likely to delay procurement by at least 18 months after the election.

RELATED LINKS
Will defence groups keep a united front?
BAE pays £346m to take over UK shipbuilding
Among the contracts that are nearing completion but could be under threat if delayed is the £5 billion Private Finance Initiative (PFI) to replace the country’s search-and-rescue helicopters. Two consortiums are bidding for the 30-year contract, with Lockheed Martin, BIH and VT Group offering a Eurocopter, while Thales UK, CHC and Royal Bank of Scotland are offering a Sikorsky.

“All companies try to get their projects through before a general election because of uncertainty about whether they will be backed by a new government,” a senior defence industry insider said. “This year it is even more critical. We all know there are big cuts coming and nobody wants a project they have spent years getting to the point of signing a contract cancelled at the last moment.”

There are at least eight large projects awaiting final clearance by the MoD, totalling nearly £20 billion in value. Defence analysts say it is highly unlikely that they will all be signed in the months before a May election.

The contracts that are near to being signed include the Defence Training Review, a £12 billion PFI which all army training will be centralised at one base in Wales.The contract has been awarded to a consortium that includes QinetiQ, the defence research company, but the final sign-off keeps slipping amid rumours that the MoD is unhappy about the price.

Howard Wheeldon, senior strategist at BGC Partners, a City brokerage firm, said: “There is not a single defence project that cannot be cancelled between now and the end of the defence review, so I can understand why the industry is pushing its case to get them signed as soon as possible.”

Other projects include a £2.7 billion contract for A400M military transport aircraft, which is due to be signed at the end of
this year. The Conservatives have already questioned whether this could be cut, but Lord Mandelson, the Business Secretary, is understood to have backed the A400M deal as it will protect Airbus jobs in the UK. This is, therefore, considered one of the few projects that is safe.

The Royal Navy is hoping to buy refuelling ships in a £2.5 billion deal, but analysts have speculated that the MoD may try to save money by cancelling this project and leasing ships instead.

Another deal likely to be signed is the Future Rapid Effects System (FRES), an armoured vehicle for the Army. The original plan was to buy 3,000 vehicles costing £12 billion, but the MoD is now hoping to have signed a contract by February for 600 costing £2 billion. This may result in a decision to axe a pending £900 million contract to upgrade the Warrior armoured vehicle, which FRES will eventually replace.

A spokesman for the MoD said: “We engage regularly with the defence industry ... but our priorities are led by the current and future requirements of the Armed Forces. Our top priority remains Afghanistan.

“We continue to invest in defence equipment to meet the needs of current operations and to provide the capabilities needed for the future.”

BAE seals shipyard deal

• BAE Systems, Europe’s largest defence company, took full control of what remains of Britain’s shipbuilding indu
stry yesterday with the acquisition of BVT.

VT Group, the former Vosper Thornycroft, sold its 45 per cent shareholding in BVT for £346 million, ending 150 years of shipbuilding heritage.

• BAE and VT merged their shipbuilding assets last year in a deal that created BVT. The partnership contains three shipyards: Scotstoun and Govan, on the Clyde in Glasgow, and Portsmouth.

• VT will inject £43 million into the business to reflect lower than expected revenue from an export order to Trinidad and Tobago. Negotiations over how much compensation VT should pay for the Trinidad contract held up the final sale for several months.

• VT will now concentrate on its growing support services business, which manages contracts in areas such as nuclear decommissioning, waste management and facilities management
Largest-ever PFI 'approved'
New Civil Engineer - London,England,UK
... Armed Forces in south Wales - known as the 'Defence Training Review' have been approved. The plans are to be funded under the largest-ever PFI deal. ...

St Athan Defence Technical College plan approved by councillors

WalesOnline - Peter Collins - ‎2 hours ago‎
THE £12bn project to build a Defence Technical College in South Wales was last night approved by planners. The scheme, which is the biggest single ...

Defence academy plan is approved

BBC News - ‎5 hours ago‎
Planning permission for a new defence training academy which will create thousands of jobs in the Vale of Glamorgan, has been granted. ...

Fears over future of Girlguiding in South Wales

WalesOnline - Peter Collins - ‎Sep 24, 2009‎
GIRL Guides groups across South Wales are facing closure because of a shortage of volunteer leaders, the organisation has warned. ...

St Athan project will put Wales on world map – where it belongs

WalesOnline - ‎Sep 23, 2009‎
TODAY, planning permission will be decided on the largest public sector project ever in Wales – the £13bn Defence Technical College (DTC) on the 1000-acre ...

Green light for £13bn military academy

Builder and Engineer - ‎2 hours ago‎
Plans to build a £13bn military academy in South Wales to train Armed Forces personnel have been given the go ahead. Construction work is due to begin at ...

Vale of Glamorgan councillors back plans for £13 billion military ...

24dash - ‎3 hours ago‎
Plans for a major military academy to train Armed Forces personnel were given the go-ahead. Building work is expected to start at the former air base in St

21/09/2009

Cable says scrap defence academy

Vince Cable MP
Vince Cable said the £13bn project was too costly

A pan-forces training academy which would create thousands of jobs in south Wales should be scrapped, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman has said.

Dr Vince Cable MP said the £13bn to set up the St Athan project was was too costly in the current economic climate.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced two years ago that it was to train servicemen and women at the academy.

The largest facility of its kind in the UK, it will give specialist technical training to the three armed services.

The Ministry of Defence has estimated the academy in the Vale of Glamorgan would create 2,500 jobs on site, with a further 750 to 1,500 additional jobs in the

wider economy and up to 1,500 jobs in the construction phase.

Dr Cable has today published an economic "recovery plan" which contains proposals for cutting government spending.

The Welsh Lib Dems say Mr Cable's comments were not party policy but indicated the levels of cuts needed in the current economic climate.

And a disclaimer on the Lib Dems website says: "Please note: this is not official Liberal Democrat policy and examples are illustrative and represent only a first, rough attempt."

A spokesman said that if the £13bn were not saved by scrapping the St Athan project it would have to be saved elsewhere, which would also have an impact on Wales.

'Jewel in the crown'

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain accused the Liberal Democrats of "competing with the Tories to make irresponsible cuts that will hurt the people of Wales".

"This is a jewel in the crown project," he said.

"It will make British forces the best trained in the world," Mr Hain added.

Responding, a Conservative spokesman said: "This project has always had cross-party

support and we will continue to maintain that the military should be properly trained."

Accusing Dr Cable of making a "reckless proposal", local Labour MP John Smith insisted

the scheme was "exactly the type of wise spending the British economy needs to

Help us come out stronger from the current economic storms".

Over the weekend, attempts by Plaid Cymru activists to commit the party to campaigning

against the academy's construction were defeated.

Plaid's leadership succeeded in watering down a motion on the issue

at the party's autumn conference in Llandudno that would have

committed Plaid to opposing the scheme.

An amendment passed instead said the party "recognises the opposition

within Plaid Cymru" to the project.

Scrap Defence Training College, says Lib Dem

WalesOnline - Tomos Livingstone - ‎Sep 15, 2009‎
THE planned £13bn Defence Training College in the Vale of Glamorgan
should be scrapped as part of a series of cuts in public spending,
the Liberal Democrats ...

Cable says scrap defence academy

Cable says scrap defence academy

BBC News - ‎Sep 15, 2009‎
A pan-forces training academy which would create thousands of jobs in south Wales should be scrapped, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman has said. ...

Cable says scrap defence academy

Vince Cable MP
Vince Cable said the £13bn project was too costly

A pan-forces training academy which would create thousands of jobs in south Wales should be scrapped, the Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman has said.

Dr Vince Cable MP said the £13bn to set up the St Athan project was was too costly in the current economic climate.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) announced two years ago that it was to train servicemen and women at the academy.

The largest facility of its kind in the UK, it will give specialist technical training to the three armed services.

The Ministry of Defence has estimated the academy in the Vale of Glamorgan would create 2,500 jobs on site, with a further 750 to 1,500 additional jobs in the wider economy and up to 1,500 jobs in the construction phase.

Dr Cable has today published an economic "recovery plan" which contains proposals for cutting government spending.

The Welsh Lib Dems say Mr Cable's comments were not party policy but indicated the levels of cuts needed in the current economic climate.

And a disclaimer on the Lib Dems website says: "Please note: this is not official Liberal Democrat policy and examples are illustrative and represent only a first, rough attempt."

A spokesman said that if the £13bn were not saved by scrapping the St Athan project it would have to be saved elsewhere, which would also have an impact on Wales.

'Jewel in the crown'

Welsh Secretary Peter Hain accused the Liberal Democrats of "competing with the Tories to make irresponsible cuts that will hurt the people of Wales".

"This is a jewel in the crown project," he said.

"It will make British forces the best trained in the world," Mr Hain added.

Responding, a Conservative spokesman said: "This project has always had cross-party support and we will continue to maintain that the military should be properly trained."

Accusing Dr Cable of making a "reckless proposal", local Labour MP John Smith insisted the scheme was "exactly the type of wise spending the British economy needs to help us come out stronger from the current economic storms".

Over the weekend, attempts by Plaid Cymru activists to commit the party to campaigning against the academy's construction were defeated.

Plaid's leadership succeeded in watering down a motion on the issue at the party's autumn conference in Llandudno that would have committed Plaid to opposing the scheme.

An amendment passed instead said the party "recognises the opposition within Plaid Cymru" to the project.

Scrap Defence Training College, says Lib Dem

WalesOnline - Tomos Livingstone - ‎Sep 15, 2009‎
THE planned £13bn Defence Training College in the Vale of Glamorgan should be scrapped as part of a series of cuts in public spending, the Liberal Democrats ...