Gwefan Ymgyrch / Campaign Website

Ydych chi wedi ymweld â gwefan yr ymgyrch eto?

Have you visited the campaign website yet?

Monday, 22 December 2008

Sunday, 21 December 2008

Railway links

As a lecturer involved in recruiting students onto courses at Aberystwyth University the importance of the railway line is pretty obvious when looking at the origin of applying students. The University is most successful, with the exception of Carmarthenshire, when there is direct railway access to Aberystwyth. I can also only 'welcome' the news that the Aberystwyth link to London "may" be restored but I would go further and demand its reinstatement. Access to services be they on a national or international level is a fundamental right in western society, access is one thing, whether you choose to use them is another, and you may choose not do do so on principle. That is another fundemental right. However we need to be a bit more forceful in the way we demand these services.
I have had a look for this consultation document as I would like to respond but it hasn't appeared on the web as yet. If a proper public consultation is required then Arriva should publicise its location and full content. Since the Liberal Democrats know about it and monitor my blog - Mark (Williams or Cole) can you please send me a copy or an URL. Thank you.

Post Offices - what can be done

If you have a good MP and a proactive County Council, this is what can be done. Not all branches have been saved but the threat of Judicial Review and a forceful marshalling of arguments can save some services.

Sane Friday

'Mad Friday' (the last Friday before Christmas to the uninitiated!) is a traditional day of merriment and over indulgence in all towns and cities across Wales. I have never been part of an organisation which had a party on this day, so I can't comment on how well or how bad the behaviour has been. Anecdotal evidence from the police seems to suggest that it can be pretty bad. However, this Friday has a different tradition for me, a tradition which I look forward to every year, the annual Penweddig School Christmas Service. Having children at the school for the past 8 years and having being a Governor for over 10 years, this is my 'sane Friday' tradition. As with previous years, I wasn't disappointed by the thoughtful contributions always to a high standard.

Child Poverty in Ceredigion

I have written to Leighton Andrews AM on the matter and forwarded a copy to Cardigan Town Council, see below, :-

Annwyl Weinidog

Yn y lle cyntaf rwyf am groesawu bwriad Llywodraeth Cynulliad Cymru i leihau tlodi plant drwy "...raglenni cefnogi gwaith, mentrau gofal plant, rhaglenni addysg ac iechyd, ymyriadau Cymunedau yn Gyntaf a sicrhau'r
uchafswm o ran incymau...". Serch hynny rwy'n pryderu na fydd y mesurau yma yn gymorth i Geredigion, yn benodol Ward Teifi, Aberteifi sydd a'r dangosyddion tlodi plant uchaf yn Ngheredigion.

Yn y Mynegai Amddifadedd Lluosog Cymru 2008 mae ward Teifi yn sgorio'n uchel am amddifadedd Tai ac amddifadedd Incwm ond gan ei fod yn Ward drefol, yn isel am amddifadedd Mynediad i Wasanaethau. Mae hyn yn wir am Ward Rhydyfuwch, Aberteifi yn ogystal. Ymddengys bod lefel isel mewn un o'r dangosyddion yn cuddio lefelau uwch mewn dangosyddion eraill wrth ystyried y Mynegai Amddifadedd Lluosog Cymru ar gyfer 2008 yn ei gyfanrwydd. O'r herwydd gall wir dlodi fynd heb ei gydnabod ac rwyf yn amau bod hyn yn wir am Ward Teifi ac i raddau am Ward Rhydyfuwch.

Hyd a lled hyn oll yw nad yw'r Wardiau yma yn gymwys i dderbyn adnoddau Cymunedau'n Gyntaf/Nesaf. Rwy'n credu bod angen adolygu hyn a'i gwneud yn bosib i Wardiau Teifi a Rhydyfuwch cael eu dynodi yn ardaloedd Cymunedau'n Gyntaf/Nesaf. Gall y gymuned yna fynd ati i weithredu a lleihau tlodi plant.

Mawr obeithiaf y byddwch yn ystyried y syniad yma ac edrychaf ymlaen at eich ateb.

Firstly, I wish to welcome the Welsh Assembly Government’s intention to reduce child poverty through “… support programs, child protection schemes, health and education programs, Communities First interventions and ensuring maximum incomes…” Despite this I am concerned that these measures will not benefit Ceredigion, in particular the Teifi Ward in Cardigan which has the highest indication of child poverty in Ceredigion.

In the 2008 Wales Index of Multiple Deprivation Teifi ward scores high
for Housing deprivation and Income deprivation but as it’s an urban Ward, it scores low for Access to Services deprivation. This is also true in the case of Rhydyfuwch ward, Cardigan. When the 2008 Wales Index of Multiple Deprivation is read in its entirety, it appears that low levels in one of the indicators hides higher levels in other indicators. As a result, real poverty may go unnoticed and I fear that this is the case in the Teifi Ward, and to some extent in the Rhydyfuwch Ward.

The long and short of this is that these Wards don’t qualify to receive Communities First/Next resources. I believe that this should be reviewed in order to make it possible for the Teifi and Rhydyfuwch Wards to be recognized as Communities First/Next areas. The community can then act to reduce child poverty.

I greatly hope that you will give this idea careful consideration and look forward to your response.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Liberal Democrats are reactive - response to Roger Williams MP

Dear Mr Williams

Thank you for taking time to read and draw attention to my blog and thank you for your letter dated 9th December which I read with a degree of bemusement. I would be grateful if you could explain in what capacity you are writing as there is no form of recognition or a return address in the letter. I sense that you are an unwilling participant in this attempted rebuff and I will apologise to you if this is not the case.

However, I shall not be issuing an apology for highlighting the deficiencies of the Liberal Democrats in Ceredigion, rather it is the Liberal Democrats who should be issuing an apology for not providing the level of representative service we expect in Ceredigion. I shall explain why.

Liberal Democrat press releases in Ceredigion normally have “agrees”, “welcomes”, “annoyed”, “dismayed” as actions in the initial sentence, these to me are ‘reactive’ observations which seek to associate the Liberal Democrats with the good work of others. It is rather superficial and Ceredigion deserves better than this. The criticism that you are a reactive party is perfectly valid.

I note your comment on the cross party campaign on Post Offices. Are you aware that your colleague has recently distributed leaflets claiming that this was a Liberal Democrat campaign and gives no credit whatsoever to the involvement of other parties? I think you have been misinformed on the Liberal Democrat commitment to cross party campaigns. Whilst the campaign in Powys did succeed in saving some Post Offices, no such success occurred in Ceredigion and it is only fair to ask why? Mark told me himself that we were within inches of a Judicial Review on Post Office closures yet nothing has materialised let alone explained.

I would also ask you to take time to read the Impact Assessment produced by HMRC on the future of the Aberystwyth Tax Office, and in particular paragraph 4.5. External Engagement. There is no reference to a response by Ceredigion County Council, and indeed there was none. Cabinet responsibility in Ceredigion for Economic Development is a matter for the Liberal Democrats. It appears that the Liberal Democrat councillor did not respond to the consultation by HMRC and was indeed criticised by in a Ceredigion County Council meeting for “having his eyes shut” at the time. I hope you will join me in criticising this serious oversight which in all probability did make “matters worse” for Aberystwyth. It is unlikely that a senior Liberal Democrat Councillor would operate without consulting an MP of his own party, particularly if, as you are asserting, that Mark Williams MP’s involvement was “proactive”. Why didn’t he notice this gaping oversight?

Accusations of negative campaigning coming from Liberal Democrats are pure hypocrisy. We are all familiar with your campaigning techniques and you demean yourself by making such accusations. I can provide you with a list if you so wish.

The bottom line in Ceredigion is that Plaid Cymru delivers for Ceredigion and the Liberal Democrats continually snipe from the sides. Plaid Cymru has prevented health cuts and saved Bronglais Hospital from being downgraded, has secured additional funds to develop the hospital and with the National Assembly Agriculture Department moving to Aberystwyth, has secured high quality jobs for the area.

An MP should be proactive and be a productive source of ideas that benefit the electorate. That is why I have proposed that Aberystwyth University should establish a Vet school and am currently campaigning for communities in Ceredigion to have wider access to Communities First/Next funds to combat child poverty. There are areas in Ceredigion where this is a serious issue. In order to have an adult debate on these matters can you please tell me precisely what are the priorities and policies the Liberal Democrat have for Ceredigion?

It is the addiction to pavement politics that is contributing to the vulnerability of Liberal Democrat seats in the forthcoming General Election. If the sum response amounts to accusations, misrepresentations and superficiality then you are already under pressure. If Mark Williams MP remains aggrieved then please ask him to contact me.

Yours sincerely
Penri James

Liberal Democrats are reactive

I seem to have hit a raw Liberal Democrat nerve considering this response to my piece on the closure of the Tax Office in Aberystwyth. A letter purportedly from Roger Williams MP has arrived but its not on headed notepaper, there is no sender's address and there is nothing stating in which capacity he is writing. I can only let you draw your own conclusions but I feel he might well be embarassed about it all! The handwritten address on the envelope is strangely familiar and I am suspicious of its provenance, it may be closer to Ceredigion than Brecon and Radnor!

Whatever, see above the letter I received. Since there is no senders address and the Lib Dems obviously read my blog then the response is coming next.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Cost goleuadau stryd

Mae yna erthygl ddiddorol gan y BBC ynglŷn â Faint mae'n ei gostio i weithio goleuadau stryd? sy’n clymu gyda’r sïon sydd ar led yng Ngheredigion. Yn ôl y sôn gall gostio rhwng £14 a £90 i weithio bob golau, yn ddibynnol ar ei fath, i’w cadw ynghyn yn ystod misoedd y gaeaf.

Rwy’n dal i gredu y dylid dim ond diffodd goleuadau ble mae’r gymuned yn credu y dylid eu diffodd, ac mewn ardaloedd eraill diffodd y goleuadau pob yn ail, cyn belled fod y gymuned yn cytuno. Dylai hynny haneru’r gost. Mae’r sïon hefyd yn dweud nad yw diffodd y goleuadau bob yn ail yn bosib oherwydd unai nid oes amserydd arnynt, neu maent yn cynnau/diffodd o ganlyniad i gell sy’n sensitive i olau. Mae rhai awdurdodau lleol megis Torfaen wedi dewis rhoi amserwyr ar eu goleuadau sy’n golygu y gellir eu diffodd. Dyma achos o fuddsoddi ar gyfer y dyfodol ac mae’n arferiad da. Dylai gael mwy o gyhoeddusrwydd.
Llongyfarchiadau Kirsty am 'BEIDIO' torri'r mowld

Mae’n bwysig llongyfarch Kirsty Williams AC fel aelod benywaidd cyntaf plaid wleidyddol ‘Gymreig’ ond mae hefyd yn bwysig ei llongyfarch am BEIDIO torri’r mowld – trwy brofi’r pwynt fod unrhyw ymgyrch a gefnogir gan Lembit Opik yn siwr o fod yn fethiant. Dewis gwael Jenni.
Darlith Stapledon

Diolch Glyn, fe ddes i i’r un casgliad am y Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol hefyd.
Celf Gyhoeddus

Rwy’n hoff iawn o gelf gyhoeddus yn enwedig pan fydd wedi ei wneud yn dda. Mae’r fam a’r plentyn ar stryd y Frenhines yng Ng haerdydd yn gwneud i chi feddwl, mae gwaith Anthony Gormley yn ysbrydoliaeth, ond ymddengys nad ydym yn cael llawer o lwc yma yng Ngheredigion. Daw hyn â mi at y prosiect ‘Big Art’ yn Aberteifi. Mae’r syniad o wario sawl £’000 ar fwi dros dro wedi eu goleuo’n lliwgar wedi bod yn un amheus. Os yw’r arian yno, dylid ei wario ar rywbeth parhaol a pherthnasol i hanes a threftadaeth Aberteifi.

Mae gennyf reolau penodol y dylid ufuddhau iddynt wrth ddelio â chelf gyhoeddus:-
- Rhaid i’r prosiect fod wedi derbyn consensws cyhoeddus;
- Dylai’r gwrthrych celf gael naratif sy’n berthnasol i hanes a threftadaeth yr ardal ble mae wedi ei leoli;
- Rhaid iddo fod yn nodwedd barhaol;
- Dylai pobl fod yn medru ei gyffwrdd a’i deimlo er mwyn creu synnwyr o berchnogaeth.

Mae’n gas gen i farnu, ac nid yw’n tarddu o dueddiadau cyntefig, nid wyf yn credu fod y bwi wedi eu goleuo yng Ngheredigion yn bodloni criteria’r rheolau hyn. Buasai cofeb barhaol i’r Arglwydd Rhys a’r Eisteddfod gyntaf yn syniad gwell ac yn rhywbeth fuasai yma mewn 68 o flynyddoedd pan fydd y milfed dathliad. Mae’n hen bryd newid meddyliau.

Wednesday, 10 December 2008

Cost of street lighting

Interesting article by the BBC on How much does it cost to operate a street light? which ties in with what rumour control is saying in Ceredigion. Apparently it costs anything from £14 to £90 per light running costs, depending on type, to keep them on during the winter months. I still think that you should only switch lights off where the community thinks they should be switched off and in other places switch every other light off, provided the community agrees. That should save half the cost. Rumour control also says that switching every other light off is not possible because they either don't have a timer or switch on/off as a result of a light sensitive cell. Some local authorities like Torfaen have decided to put timers on their lights that allows some to be switched off. This is a case of investing for tommorow and is good practice. It should get more publicity.

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Congratulations Kirsty for 'NOT' breaking the mould

Its important to congratulate Kirsty Williams AM as the first female leader of a 'Welsh' political party but its also important to congratulate her for NOT breaking the mould - by proving the point that any campaign supported by Lembit Opik is doomed to failure. Bad move Jenni.

Monday, 8 December 2008

Stapledon lecture

Thanks Glyn, I came to the same conclusion about the Lib Dems as well.

Public Art

I am a fan of public art particularly when it is done well. The mother and child in Queen's Street, Cardiff is evocative, Anthony Gormley's creations inspirational, but we don't seem to have much luck here in Ceredigion. The 'stairway to nowhere' in Aberystwyth only reminds me of Led Zepplin in their 'stairway to heaven' heyday and in anycase it is safely blue boarded away on health grounds at the moment. Siting a 10m high stairway near the exit from the Students' Union in Aberystwyth was always a strange one particularly at 2am.
This brings me nicely to the 'Big Art' project in Cardigan. Spending several £'000 on a semi permanent colourfully lit buoys that talk back to you was always a dodgy one. If the money is there then spend it on something long lasting and relevant to Cardigan's history and heritage.
I have certain rules that should be obeyed when dealing with public art:-
  • The project has to carry a public consensus;
  • The art object should have a narrative that is relevant to the history and heritage of where it is located;
  • It has to be a permanent feature;
  • People should be allowed to touch and feel it to generate a sense of ownership.

Though I am loathe to criticise, and it doesn't come from any philistinic tendencies, I don't think that the lighted buoys in Cardigan meet any of these rules. A permanent, physical commemoration of 'yr Arglwydd Rhys' and the first Eisteddfod is a better idea will be here in a 68 years time when the 1000th anniversary is celebrated. Time to change some minds.

Sunday, 7 December 2008

Tax Office closure

Following an announcement on Thursday 4th December its now clear that central government is withdrawing jobs from rural areas including Aberystwyth, Ceredigion. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has announced its accommodation reviews and the bad news is that the Aberystwyth Office will close and be an enquiry only office. This is a reversal on the original proposals where Merthyr Tydfil originally pencilled for closure is now saved at the expense of Aberystwyth.
An Impact Assessment has been carried out for the Aberystwyth Office and some of its conclusions and statements are questionable. Here are some paragraphs from the imact assessment document and important questions and comments.
1.4. Staff Crown Buildings accommodates a total of 25 staff. During consultation, concerns around additional travelling for staff have been raised. Further examination of individual circumstances will be undertaken through one to one discussions between managers and staff. Where a staff member is unable to relocate to the nearest long term HMRC office within reasonable daily travel managers will discuss other available options with them. No staff will be required to relocate beyond reasonable daily travel.
How do they define 'reasonable' in a rural context like that relevant to Ceredigion?
1.7. Finance The vacation of this office will contribute to estimated estate savings of £4m in Wales between 2007 and 2012.
What precisely is the contribution arising from the closure of the Aberystwyth Office?
2.1. Office Proposal HMRC proposes to rationalise its estate in Wales with the aim of making more effective and efficient use of office space and bringing teams closer together within and across business units. The original proposal was to retain Crown Buildings, Aberystwyth, but following feasibility work the intention is now to withdraw from this office. Enquiry centre services will remain at Crown Buildings or relocate to an alternative location nearby.
What precisely were the factors that made them change their mind?
4.1. Member of Parliament and Constituency Crown Buildings is within the parliamentary constituency of Ceredigion. The Member of Parliament is Mr Mark Williams (Liberal Democrat). This MP met with the Financial Secretary to the Treasury to discuss the proposals.
This is a non-devolved matter where the MP should take a pro-active lead not simply be reactive all the time. We need to know what exactly was done appart from the usual "horrified...annoyed....angry...dismayed" type of press release. Not a particularly successful outcome this time, simmilar to the lobbying to keep Post Offices open. All those PO's in Ceredigion scheduled to be shut were shut. I just hope he didn't make matters worse with the Tax Office as well.
4.2. Local Economy Crown Buildings is situated within the local authority of Ceredigion. The unemployment rate for Ceredigion is 4.9%, against the UK national average of 5.3%. The table below shows the relative job density for Ceredigion, Wales and the UK as a whole. Job density is a ratio of total jobs to working-age population and provides a measure of the economic health of an area. Total jobs includes employees, self-employed, government supported trainees and HM Forces.
Table 1 - Job Density
Ceredigion 0.78
Wales 0.78
UK 0.84
There are around 3,895 employers in Ceredigion employing approximately 25,800 people. There are 25 HMRC employees located at Crown Buildings, which is less than 1% of those employed within the local authority area. It is therefore reasonable to infer that the local economy is not dependent on the HMRC presence at this office.
There may be some impact on local businesses which at present benefit from the custom of HMRC staff based at Crown Buildings. Any negative impact that may be caused by HMRC withdrawal from this location is expected to be temporary, lasting until such time as the building is reoccupied by another employer.
Who is actively looking for alternative occupiers for the building?
4.5. External Engagement On 13 June 2008 Workforce Change wrote to 11 local authorities and two town councils in Wales about the proposals for the cluster and individual locations. A six week period for responses was provided. Comments were sought on subjects including local/regional economic factors, regeneration plans, wider employer activity and plans for new or improved transport links. Ten responses were received from Torfaen County Borough Council, Pontypool Community Council, Wrexham County Borough Council, Bridgend County Borough Council, Rhyl Town Council, Denbighshire County Council, Aberystwyth Town Council, Brecon Town Council, Merthyr Tydfil County Borough Council and Pembrokeshire County Council. Responses received included comments on the impact of the proposed closures on the local economy in particular the impact of losing jobs. All concerns raised have been taken into account in making our recommendations to Ministers.
Was there no response from Ceredigion County Council or were they not asked?
There is a critical need to set up a coordinated response here brining in all necessary institutions.

Friday, 5 December 2008

Dim cynllwyn......wir!

Efallai i Ddemocratiaid Rhyddfrydol lleol synhwyro cynllwyn pe baent wedi pasio bwyty lleol heno a gweld Ymgeisydd San Steffan Plaid Cymru dros Geredigion (fi) yn ciniawa gydag Ymgeisydd San Steffan y Ceidwadwyr dros Sir Drefaldwyn (Glyn Davies), y ddwy sedd yn perthyn i’r Democratiaid Rhyddfrydol. Pwyllwych Ddemocratiaid Rhyddfrydol, mae ganddom oll gyfrifoldebau eraill, roedd Glyn Davies yn Aberystwyth yn traddodi darlith fel Llywydd Ymgyrch Diogelu Cymru Wledig ac roeddwn yn ei ddiddanu fel Darlithydd ym Mhrifysgol Aberystwyth.

Siaradodd Glyn â Chymdeithas Stapledon am hanner awr am beth sy’n ei ysgogi, ei waith fel Aelod Cynulliad, ei waith fel Llywydd YDCW a rhai o brif faterion Cymru wledig. Dilynwyd hyn gan hanner awr ddiddan o ddadl a thrafodaeth. Diolch i’w waith ef mae YDCW wedi newid o fod yn fudiad un mater – gwrthwynebu ffermydd gwynt – i ddangos diddordeb mewn rôl gyfrannol llawer ehangach. Noson dda.
Diogelwch ynni yng Ngheredigion

Mae polisi ynni, yn enwedig darpariaeth trydan, yn fater allweddol nid yn unig ar raddfa fyd-eang ond ar raddfa lleol hefyd. Mae’n rhaid i ni yng Ngheredigion ddangos mwy o ddiddordeb yn y ddadl am gysylltiad y Grid Cenedlaethol sy’n digwydd yn Sir Fynwy ar hyn o bryd. Bydd casgliadau’r ddadl yn effeithio diogelwch ein ynni yng Ngheredigion.

Ychydig o gefndir i ddechrau; mae trawsyriad trydan foltedd uchel yn fwy effeithlon na thrawsyriad foltedd is felly bydd y cyflenwad trydan yn fwy effeithlon a dibynadwy, yr agosaf fydd gwifrau foltedd uchel 400kV. Mae’r gwifrau 400kV agosaf at ganolbarth Cymru wedi’w lleoli ger Abertawe, yn Nhrawsfynydd a’r Amwythig. Mae ardaloedd arfordirol Ceredigion yn bell iawn oddi wrth y prif wifrau pwer ac mae’r rhwydwaith lleol yn agored iawn i niwed.

Mae’n anffodus fod y ddadl wedi priodi ffermydd gwynt TAN 8 gyda grid trydan cenedlaethol gwell, dylid eu hysgaru. Ni chaiff unrhyw un o’r ffermydd gwynt eu hadeiladu heb y cysylltiadau newydd 400kV gan fod rhaid allforio’r ynni sydd wedi’w gynhyrchu a rhaid talu am y grid newydd. Mae’n broblem real, a ydym ni’n cefnogi’r ffermydd gwynt newydd i gael gwell cysylltiad grid? Neu a ydym ni’n gwrthwynebu’r ffermydd gwynt a byw gyda’r posibilrwydd o dlodi trydanol? Does neb eisiau peilonau mawr, ond nid ydym eisiau colli ein cyflenwad trydan chwaith.

Un ateb yw i gladdu’r ceblau ond mae’n debyg y buasai’r gost ychwanegol yn cael ei ychwanegu at ein biliau cyflenwad. Ateb arall yw i ddefnyddio’r trydan sydd wedi’w gynhyrchu’n lleol i gyflenw i anghenion lleol, y broblem gyda hyn yw bod cynhyrchiad trydan hydro ac adnewyddadwy yng Ngheredigion yn dymhorol, a gall olygu tlodi yn ystod amseroedd penodol o’r flwyddyn.

Mae hi’n hanfodol bwysig i ni gadw golwg ar y ddadl hon ac i ymyrryd pan fo angen. Heb amheuaeth byddwn yn dychwelyd at y mater hwn yn y dyfodol agos.

Thursday, 4 December 2008

No conspiracy....really!

Local Lib Dems might well have smelled a conspiracy if they passed a local restaurant this evening and spotted the Prospective Plaid Cymru Westminster candidate in Ceredigion (me) dining with the Prospective Conservative Westminster candidate in Montgomery (Glyn Davies), both being Lib Dem held seats. Calm down Lib Dems, we all have other responsibilities, Glyn Davies was in Aberystwyth giving a talk as President of the Campaign for the Protection of Rural Wales and I was entertaining him as a Lecturer at Aberystwyth University.
Glyn spoke to the Stapledon Society for half an hour on what motaivates him, his work as an Assembly Member, his work as the President of CPRW and some of the key issues for rural Wales. This was followed by an entertaining half hour of discussion and debate. It is to his credit that the CPRW has moved from being a single issue organisation - anti wind farm - to be interested in and have a much wider contributory role. A good night.

Energy security in Ceredigion

Energy policy, in particular electricity provision, is a key issue not only on a global scale but on a local scale as well. We in Ceredigion need to take interest in the debate on the National Grid connection happenning in Montgomeryshire at the moment. Its conclusion will have an effect on our enegry security in Ceredigion.
Some background to begin with, high voltage electricity transmission is more efficient than lower voltage transmission thus the closer the presence of high voltage 400kV lines the more reliable and efficient electricity supply will be. The closest 400kV lines to mid Wales are near Swansea, at Trawsfynydd and at Shrewsbury. Coastal areas in Ceredigion are about as far as you can go from major power lines and the local network is particularly vulnerable.
It is unfortunate that the debate has married the TAN 8 wind farms with a better national electricity grid, they should be divorced. None of the wind farms will be built without the new 400kV connections since the generated energy has to be exported and the new grid has to be paid for. Its a real connundrum, do we support new wind farms to get a better grid connection? or do we oppose wind farms and live with possible electricity poverty? No one wants large pylons neither do we fancy losing our electricity supply. One solution may be to bury the cables but the additional cost will in all probability be added onto our supply bills. Another solution is to use locally generated electricity to supply local needs, the problem here is that renewable and hydro electricity generation in Ceredigion is essentially seasonal and a recipe for poverty at certain times of the year.
It is so iportant to watch this debate and intervene when required. No doubt we shall come back to this in the near future.