Carmarthen Journal Column – 10th July 2013

As Plaid Cymru’s spokesperson on the Treasury, my work over recent weeks has been preparing and responding to the UK Government’s comprehensive spending review (CSR), which we now know, will see a further £11.5billion of cuts to public expenditure on top of those already announced. What is crystal clear is that austerity has failed on its own terms.

Deficit reduction targets have been missed by a mile; the debt of the British State is growing; and more importantly the economy is stagnant. Wales is in urgent need of capital investment to get our economy moving and its deeply dissociating that all three London parties will fight the next Westminster election without a single penny difference in their spending plans.

Readers are welcome to contact me for a detailed response to the spending review or visit my website for further information.

Since that review, my work has concentrated on studying the proposals for electricity cables to connect the wind turbines in the Brechfa forest area, with existing electricity infrastructure in the south of the county.

I am proud to represent some of the most stunning communities in Wales, and I am deeply concerned by the effects the electricity cables and the necessary pylons will have on these areas of outstanding natural beauty. I am also concerned that the current consultation period for the proposed routes is only taking place over the summer months – a matter I put to the Secretary of State for Wales last week.
I was pleased to secure the commitment of the Wales Office Minister that he will raise the short consultation period with Western Power Distribution. I will myself be pressing for an extension to the consultation when I meet with representatives of WPD at the end of this week.

Tourism is one of our most important sectors. Carmarthenshire’s local economy depends, to a great extent, on the county’s natural beauty. That’s why I believe all electricity cables should be installed underground and out of sight. There is a commitment to do this in Powys and in the Wirral – Carmarthenshire should therefore be no different. But I want to hear your opinions.

On Thursday 1st August, my constituency colleague Rhodri Glyn Thomas AM and I will be hosting a public meeting at 7pm in Pontargothi Hall. Our constituents are welcome to attend and let us know their views on the current proposals. We will do everything we can to ensure our county’s natural beauty is not lost.

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