Monday, September 18, 2006

Welsh water for English cities

I am looking forward to the minority party debate tomorrow. Plaid Cymru are raising the emotive issue of transferring Welsh water to English cities. The bottom line is that the Government of Wales Act reserves the right to flood Welsh valleys to the Westminster Parliament. The ghost of Trewerin stalks the Welsh political landscape once again.
Of course it is too late to do anything about it. The Act has been passed months ago - but it is an interesting, complex and sensitive issue. I hope Plaid don't play the 'Wales the victim' card. When the Bill was going through Westminster, I instinctively took the view that the power should be devolved. But on reflection,I do not think it really makes that much difference.
The reality is that if there is a shortage of water in one part of the UK and a surplus in another, it is unthinkable that the water would not flow from one to the other. Rather like the laying of the LNG pipeline across Wales, the UK interest would have to prevail in the end. I daresay that comment will fire up a few people if I get the chance to speak tomorrow. The issue is at what price. Not only should every landowner and tenent affected be fully compensated but there should be some financial recognition for any community disruption as well. The days when flooding valleys was the cheap option has gone. The price has got to be high enough to force serious consideration of pipeline repairs, water storage and water saving in the South-East of England as well as a strategic objective of persuading people to locate to other parts of the UK. In my opinin flooding a Welsh valley should come at a high price. Maybe we will all agree.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think you mean "Tryweryn"