Monday, July 25, 2011

Shedding some light on Lake Vyrnwy sale

Severn Trent announced today that it has selected United Utilities/RSPB as its 'preferred bidder' for the Lake Vyrnwy Estate in Montgomeryshire. One privatised utility company selling the bulk of the village of Llanwddyn to another. Severn Trent also announced today that no 'preferred bidder' has been chosen for the rented housing it owns in the village or the sporting rights on the Lake as yet. This is the biggest land sale in Wales for many years and the decision has outraged local opinion - for two reasons.

Firstly, another bidder, Mr Rhys Jones, a businessman with strong local connections had engaged enthusiastically with local people and had satisfied them that he wanted to make major investment in the Estate, something that has been lacking under Severn Trent's ownership for many years. Inevitably, local people are disappointed because 'their' man did not win. Second reason for outrage is the cloak of secrecy surrounding the deal. Its not like its one farm - its almost their entire community. And the only reason Severn Trent made their intentions public today was that local Cllr., Simon Baynes and I did it for them last week.

I cannot criticise the actual United Utilities/RSPB bid because I know nothing about it. Its all a big secret. But local people have been desperately unhappy with the way Severn Trent and RSPB have managed things in the past. The best hope of blowing all this secrecy out of the water is Lord Elis Thomas, Chair of the National Assembly's Environment and Sustainability Committee, who is considering establishing some sort on inquiry into the sale. Now that would be fun - forcing the two privatised utility companies and RSPB to answer questions in public on the background to what looks a cosy deal. Perhaps they'll refuse to show. Perhaps Dafydd El will have them summonsed! Watch this space.

2 comments:

Peter Griffiths said...

Just about sums it up - thanks!

But - just one more little niggle about the sale - the forestry is going to FIM Services Limited (FIM, a company that are not only involved in forestry but also 'renewables.
If you take a look at their website at:

http://www.fimltd.co.uk/proven_management.asp

you will find some pretty pictures of wind turbines - yes, wind farms are also part of their business and it does make me wonder if here there is yet [another] hidden agenda.

It would be good if you as the MP for this area, would ask both Severn Trent and FIM if there are any plans for wind farms in this glorious part of Wales.

One final point I think is worth a mention - Severn Trent will not discuss and will not let any bidders discuss details of the sale as they 'are bound by a non disclosure agreement.'

Now, Severn Trent themselves have broken that agreement in disclosing the identities of their preferred bidders; it therefore follows that the bidders should now be released from the non disclosure agreement and then, maybe, just maybe, we could have informed discussions about this sale.

Peter Griffiths
Llanwddyn

Anonymous said...

Not on point, but re the Johnson and Johnson hip replacement issue, in the USA thousands are going to recover the cost of replacing defective hip devices; so why is the NHS in Wales going to pay for this? J&J should pay the NHS the cost of hip replacement surgeries. Why is the Welsh Assembly not taking this up? Why is the Minister for Health not on top of this? The failure rate of these hips is 49%; they were not properly tested, so how on earth did NHS Trusts in Wales opt for these defective J&J hip devices? cw