Readers may be aware that the Welsh Government has recently acquired limited borrowing powers.
Like a business borrowing money in order to expand, every Government has the ability to borrow in order to invest in their economy and create jobs and wealth. Therefore it must be a good thing.
However, it must be used correctly. Unfortunately the Labour Welsh Government has decided to draw down the whole amount that they are allowed to borrow to fund the M4 Relief Road – effectively a £1bn bypass for Newport! This is a reckless and wasteful use of scarce resources and will be environmentally damaging as the Gwent Levels is one of the largest surviving areas of ancient grazing marshes and reen systems in the UK. Any benefits will mainly be localised around Newport and Cardiff but will not in anyway benefit us here in the North.
To make matters worse, there is an alternative route using existing roads and brownfield sites that would cost less than half the one that the Government has chosen. This would have achieved the same purpose but additionally released much-needed money to spend on vital infrastructure work in north Wales, such as improvements to the A55; improving transport links between our towns and electrifying the north Wales rail line.
But once again we see Cardiff Labour blind to the needs of north Wales.
The Cardiff Labour Government has bought Cardiff International Airport; has committed over £200m to dualling the Heads of the Valleys Road at Abergavenny; has agreed to electrify the Valleys train lines; and is now committed to spending huge amounts of money on the Newport relief road.
North East Wales has three Labour AMs in the Welsh Government cabinet, yet their Government continues to prioritise funding on the south-east of Wales.
I would be interested to know if your readers support the £1bn Newport relief road project funded by the Welsh Government.
I for one believe that it’s about time we had a Government delivering for the whole of Wales.
Mabon ap Gwynfor