- June 30, 2015
- Posted by: Carwyn Jones AM
- Category: Archive, The Gem
Porthcawl/RBS/Cardiff Airport- Carwyn’s Column
There are plans afoot for Porthcawl again! After more than a decade of disappointment, frustration and sheer bad luck there are now proposals for redeveloping the Salt Lake . This builds on the work that’s been done in the harbour and the plans for the Jennings Building and port area. It seems the new plans include residential and leisure use, as well as a new health centre which the town will welcome.
We’ve not yet seen any detail on the plan, and it’s not clear what sort of leisure facility it would be and who will pay for it, but it’s a start. It seems a serious proposal and I’m looking forward to seeing more about it in the next few weeks.
Who would you take advice from if you wanted to invest your money? Well, the Chancellor of the Exchequer would be the last person you’d want to see. Last week he announced that he is going to sell the UK government’s shares in the Royal Bank of Scotland at a loss of £7 billion. That’s enough to run the Welsh NHS for a year.
There are serious questions about why he wants to do this and why the taxpayer has to take this loss. Surely it would be better to wait until the bank is in a stronger position and sell the shares at a profit? I suspect that he is short of money to pay for the manifesto pledges that David Cameron made at the General Election and needs to have a fire sale.
It’s a shame that all of us will have to take the loss.
Cardiff Airport goes from strength to strength. Those who’ve been there will see the improvements that have been made so that the airport no longer looks under siege and the terminal building is far more welcoming.
We’ve also seen Flybe base aircraft there and are offering more than 12 routes, which is the most significant boost the airport has had for ten years.
Yet the Welsh Conservatives are still willing it to fail, all because it’s Welsh Government owned. They didn’t want us to save it, and you get the impression that they would have been happy to see a housing estate at Rhoose and the British Airways base gone.
We decided that the airport was important and when it was offered to the Welsh Government at a realistic price, we bought it. In time we’ll look to get a private investor in, but for now, it’s doing well.
I for one would never have wanted to see it disappear, and its good to see that all those who work at the airport and the surrounding area are being rewarded for their hard work over the years.