23/01/2011

Batty Ieuan Wyn Jones

One year after the £5million St Athan Public Inquiry, the groups critical of the plans are demanding Ieuan Wyn Jones - the Minister responsible for the development – lift his block on the compulsory purchase (CPO) decision. WAG went to the Inquiry for Compulsory Purchase of land costing £5 million, said to be ‘necessary in the public interest’ for the combined schemes. Once the MoD decided they would not proceed with the Metrix scheme in the October Defence Review, their case had disappeared. There is now no case for green-field development and the damaging northern access road across peaceful meadows around the Llanmaes brook, argue the Council with Green Party and FOE support.

And TWO new purpose-built homes for bats have cost the taxpayer £128,000, the Echo reveals.
'The Ministry of Defence (MoD) was today accused of extravagance and “new levels of absurdity” as the cost of the two wooden buildings at RAF St Athan emerged.The bat houses were part of the £20.3m enabling works carried out in anticipation of RAF St Athan becoming a defence training academy.
Plans for the £14bn development were scrapped by the Conservative-LibDem coalition in October as part of its cost-cutting efforts.'  MoD is criticised over bat houses by Madeleine Brindley, South Wales Echo










17/01/2011

St Athan Aerospace Business Park a 'dog's breakfast ...

The Aerospace Business Park a 'dog's breakfast ...14 Jan 2011 ... Mr Ieuan Wyn Jones told Mr Davies that the government remained committed to the business park, which was a phased development over the next ...
‘£43 million spent, but not one job created’... We have said this time and time again and so did the auditor some years ago..but they never learn..
Other expenditure by WAG includes the Camargue PR firm engaged to run the ‘public consultation’ and £12.5M (+contingency) for advance works*,which MoD would refund if they don’t proceed.

*Cabinet update, Jan. 2010
Failed Red Dragon project
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.
we are still waiting  - more than a year later for the Inquiry results.

11/01/2011

One Year On – Call to stop blocking St Athan decision!

One year after the St Athan Public Inquiry, the groups critical of the plans are stepping up pressure on Ieuan Wyn Jones - the Minister responsible for the development – to lift his block on the compulsory purchase (CPO) decision. Robin Gwyndaf of Cymdeithas y Cymod has written seeking a deputation to the Minister on the matter (letter attached).

Chris Franks AM raised it* early in January on behalf of Llanmaes Community Council, when Mr Jones told him they were waiting for the MoD to decide the future of the base and its training facility. Previously the civil servants claimed to Barry & Vale FoE that they required more time because of “complexity” (letter of 17 Nov.) and “complex ramifications” (17 Dec. below).

Opposition groups within the Cynefin y Werin network say the situation is simple – WAG went to the Inquiry for Compulsory Purchase of land said to be ‘necessary in the public interest’ for the combined schemes. Once the MoD decided they would not proceed with the Metrix scheme in the October Defence Review, their case had disappeared. There is now no case for green-field development and the damaging northern access road across peaceful meadows around the Llanmaes brook, argue the Council with Friends of the Earth's support.

* Glamorgan Gem, p.4, 6 January 2011 “Aerospace Business Park still long-term aim of the Assembly”.
** http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/st_athan_defence_technical_colle html

The £5 million went to consultants, publicity and the Public Inquiry (QC and witness costs), authorised on the claim that the aerospace development was complimentary to the Training College. Because of the Red Dragon fiasco, the auditor had told the Welsh Assembly government not to commit spending relating to another MoD project, without guaranteed refund if the MoD pulled out. Yet Ieuan Wyn Jones's department has now lost further millions in the same way.
## http://www.antimetrix.org/2010/12/we-gave-evidence-at-jan-2010-st-athan.htm

The reply to A Freedom of Information Request  – Reference 4606 - for the inspectors report...
from a Mr James Price Head of the Infrastructure Group Department for the Economy & Transport ..
'I refer to my letter of 17 November concerning your request for information regarding the Inspector’s Report on the St Athan CPO. I regret to have to inform you that I am not yet in a position to reply to this request by the specified date of 15 December. The matter is still under consideration and therefore I am unable to let you know at this time one way or the other if the

As Chris Franks reports (Gem 6 January) the size and shape of the aerospace business park would have to change, so any alternative scheme requiring CPOs would need another Inquiry. There is no legal reason for holding up the Inspector's report (completed in March 2010) for the Minister's convenience or embarrassment over the loss of over £5 million**, say Cynefin y Werin (Stephen Thomas). The hold-up appears to be abuse of the separation between planning decision-making and policy decisions##.
 
 Inspector’s Report is to be released immediately. As explained previously, there are complex ramifications resulting from the MoD decision of 19 October which we are trying to understand in addressing your request for early publication of the Report. I recognise that this continuing delay may not accord with the provisions of Environmental Information Regulations 2004. I offer my apologies for any inconvenience this may cause.