Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Aerospace and St Athan dithering

The Record of Proceedings Dydd Mawrth, 11 Ionawr 2011 Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Andrew R.T. Davies: Thank you for that answer, First Minister. Do you share my concern at the lack of progress on the Welsh Assembly Government’s aerospace park at St Athan? In answer to a question, the Minister for the Economy and Transport confirmed that £44 million in Welsh Assembly Government money has been spent on the aerospace park—not the defence training academy—which was announced as a direct consequence of the closure of the Defence Aviation Repair Agency facility at St Athan. There has been no progress to date on job-creation in that aspect of the Welsh Assembly Government’s economic portfolio. When can the residents of St Athan and Llantwit Major expect to see progress on this important scheme?

The First Minister: I am now even more amazed. In order for the business park to prosper, there needs to be a decision on the rest of the site. The dithering of the UK Government and its failure to make a decision are frustrating our ability to offer long-term certianty to potential tenants. If you are a prospective tenant, you want to know what else is going to go there. Until we have a decision from the UK Government, and we until we have some clarity for the people of St Athan, Llantwit Major and the Vale of Glamorgan, it is going to be very difficult for us to attract tenants to the park. We have made our investment and we now need to see a commitment from the UK Government and the Ministry of Defence to deliver on what they said that they would deliver—a training facility at St Athan. Let us hear it. ..................

Andrew RT Davies AM
You will have heard my question to the First Minister about the aerospace park in St Athan. I am concerned about the issues that are being raised regarding the aerospace park and the link to the defence training academy, and also the various planning inspectors’ reports that relate to the northern access road. There is a whole host of issues surrounding this development, and a statement from the Deputy First Minister as to how the Welsh Assembly Government is progressing its side of the development in St Athan, given that it was an announcement in response to the loss of the Defence Aviation Repair Agency jobs, would be greatly appreciated by the local community in order to understand the way forward.

Jane Hutt: In relation to your important first point, there is a forthcoming statement from the Minister for Health and Social Services on the review of those who have been infected by contaminated blood. I completely concur with you on your second point—we need an update on the St Athan situation from the UK Government. I understand that a response is due from the UK Government in March. I have had correspondence, which I am happy to share with you, from the UK Government Minister. The Deputy First Minister will also issue a statement on St Athan in relation to Welsh Assembly Government responsibilities. On the third point, the regulations on the kennelling of dogs will be handled in the usual way, as regulations always are.

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