CPO Inquiry Cover up

Delaying the results of the CPO Inquiry into the St Athan Defence College and aerospace business park is quite wrong. The Welsh Assembly government (WAG) claims to us (letter of 17 Nov.) that the MoD decision not to proceed with the Metrix scheme requires more time because of “complexity”.

Yet the situation is simple – WAG went to the Inquiry for Compulsory Purchase of land supposed to be ‘necessary in the public interest’ for the combined schemes. With Metrix dumped, their case has disappeared and any alternative scheme requiring CPOs would need another Inquiry.
Let’s remember, Metrix’s overblown scheme included a military museum, church and hotel, and was conceived for over twice as many trainees as eventually proposed.
Whatever future training MoD decides to bring to Barry, the CPO Inquiry does not apply. It’s quite wrong of officials to hold up the result until they can concoct a positive spin.
Because of the Red Dragon fiasco, the auditor told WAG not to commit spending relating to another MoD project, without guaranteed refund if the MoD pulled out. Yet officials spent at least £5 million** in this case on consultants, publicity and the Public Inquiry (QC and witness costs), based on the flimsy claim that the aerospace development was complimentary to the Training College. Even if the Minister has to take the rap in public, it’s his ex-WDA officials who are now covering up under the excuse of “complexity”.


welsh ministers wont release Jan inquiry report

Missing St Athan CPO inquiry report!! The inquiry took place in Jan 2010 - "The Inspector has submitted his Report to the Welsh Ministers. The Report will be made public, and you will be provided with a copy as you requested, when the Welsh Ministers have considered the matter and reached their decision" was the reply in July 2010 by Manning, Sarah (DE&T- EDG - SE & Infrastructure)

Extension of time
Further to my letter of 21 October concerning your request for information regarding the Inspector’s Report on the St Athan CPO, I am writing to advise you that we are dealing with your request under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 and not under the Freedom of Information Act.
The Welsh Assembly Government considers that the requested information is “environmental” because the Inspector’s Report is likely to contain information on administrative measures that are likely to affect the state of the elements of the environment.
I am writing to advise you that the time limit for responding to your request for information under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004, which we received on 20 October, needs to be extended.
The Regulations allow us 20 working days to respond to your request from the date of its receipt. However, it is occasionally necessary to extend the 20 working-day time limit for issuing a response. In this case, I regret that we must extend the time limit for responding by 20 days because of the complexity of the request. We are currently assessing the Ministry of Defence’s statement that St Athan remains an option for the location of future defence technical training with an announcement expected in Spring 2011; and what this means for the draft CPO.
I hope to let you have a response by 15 December.
Yours sincerely, Hitesh Vadgama South East Region Infrastructure Team
Department for the Economy & Transport