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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales 18:27 - Aug 24 with 13465 viewsjohnlangy

Meeting With Mike Hedges and Carolyn Harris at their surgery in Brynhyfryd Library on 14th August 2015

There have been a lot of threads to do with the WAG's investment in Cardiff at the expense of the rest of Wales. I commented a number of times that what people should do is go to their AM/MP nd make their feelings known. I finally got off my own backside and went to see Mike Hedges, the Swansea East AM, 10 days ago. I also had the pleasure of speaking to Carolyn Harris MP who attended the same surgery. I won't go over all the points made in previous threads and all the things I said/asked them but I will try to explain the whole thing fairly briefly.

I said that in my opinion, and that of many others, the WAG is investing in Cardiff disproportionately at the expense of the rest of Wales in a similar way to how the UK government has done over the decades with London. I stressed a number of times that i'd be making comparisons with Swansea but my general point refers to the whole of Wales.

Firstly they talked about all the things happening or hopefully going to happen in Swansea. I agreed with their points but said that what has been invested in Cardiff down the years dwarfs the amount being talked about and the developments happening now, and due to happen, in Cardiff again dwarfs the Swansea investment. Just a couple of examples. The development of the old bus station site with a new 150,000 sq ft BBC Wales HQ, a 135,000 sq ft development already completed with another at the planning stage. Also the new bus 'interchange'. To put it in context the new bus station in Swansea took a decade to generate funding before completion and cost £11 m. The new 450,000 sq ft 'interchange' in Cardiff will cost £150 m what with the luxury Hotel, appartments and retail outlets. There's another thread from about a month ago with a link to the Walesonline article detailing all the plans so I won't repeat the rest.

They said that private investment is a decision by the company involved and out of government hands. I agreed it is the individual companies decision but said it's the WAG which creates the environment which persuades companies to invest in an area because they can see opportunities for profit. The setting of the Mill Stad (*) and the Mill Centre (the WAG with our money) in Cardiff ensures that millions upon millions of people are drawn in. As a result businesses can see a profit and invest there. One event at the Mill Stad injects £10 million into the Cardiff economy (NOT into the Welsh economy as is always repeated by politicians). How many large events happen each year at the Mill Stad ? If it is 50 then that is £500 million. No wonder companies invest there.

(* - this was WRU money but they worked with CC Council to ensure it happened in Cardiff – I don't actually know but I imagine the WAG worked behind the scenes to help as well)

I also mentioned about the Metro and the M4 relief road (£2/3 billion between them). Mike Hedges made the point about the traffic into Cardiff and the need to strengthen the infrastructure because of it. I said that's exactly my point. By ensuring billions are invested in Cardiff it draws people in which means there's a need to improve the infrastructure which will draw more people in which will generate more investment which will ...... You get my drift. He then made my point again by saying he could drive from one end of Swansea to the other relatively easily so the need for infrastructure improvements isn't there. Well obviously I said. Because Swansea hasn't been developed to anything like the extent of Cardiff which is my point.



I sent this email to Nicholas Parry of the EP on 13th Aug and got a reply from Richard Youle the following day.

Mr Parry,
 On a recent thread on a Swans website someone posted ‘I wonder if the Evening Post would have the $%^&* to have a debate on this’ so, with the Assembly elections coming up next year I thought i’d put the question to you.
In the opinion of myself and a huge number of people who have posted letters in the EP over the years a completely disproportionate amount of money is invested in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales. Similar opinions are expressed on this Swans website and I have no reasons to believe that, if I looked through other websites outside of the South East a similar message would emerge. I certainly know of many bloggers who post the same message.
 So, there’s the question. Will you do it ? It’s about time this was dragged into the open and the EP, being the best selling and most widely read newspaper in Wales would be the best means of having that debate.
 Looking forward to your reply.
John Young 


Hello,
 I’ll aim to look into this – have you got any evidence at this stage which suggests Cardiff does get a disproportionate amount of investment?
 Thanks Richard
Richard Youle


Richard asks for evidence. None of this is evidence, it's opinion but people's opinions matter. A result of our 'opinions' could be that we vote Labour out of control of the WAG next year. Also the result of our 'opinions' could be that Labour see them being read in the EP by 150,000 people and maybe finally decide things should change.

To me their answers say that they believe they've done the right thing. I'll be emailing both Mike and Carolyn to let them know how to access the thread in case they feel a need to join in. And if any of you decide you'd want to do something similar it turns out that what I was doing was lobbying. Apparently, if you want to lobby your AM/MP you should contact them and arrange an appointment rather than go to a normal surgery.

And to be fair to them both they talked to me for over 30 minutes out of a surgery time of an hour so huge plaudits to them for that.
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 19:30 - Aug 24 with 5131 viewsWhiterockin

I think one of the main problems is that many people have to travel to Cardiff for reasonably paid jobs. This has been caused by the investment that the WAG has pumped into Cardiff. If the money had not been poured in, they would not need to improve the transport links to get us in there for work.

Spread the investment throughout Wales and improve the whole of Wales. Investment equals better paid jobs. If this is local much of the Welsh transport problems would be cut at a stroke.
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 20:53 - Aug 24 with 5085 viewsKilkennyjack

Its a no brainer, investment clearly needs to be balanced across the whole of wales. Good for you john.

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:09 - Aug 24 with 5019 viewsicecoldjack

We need more people like you fella. Top OP fair play ..
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:18 - Aug 24 with 4911 viewsNeathJack

Is it just me or did Mike hedges come across there as a complete apologist for Cardiff and really not getting it?
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:25 - Aug 24 with 4898 viewsBrynmill_Jack

WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:18 - Aug 24 by NeathJack

Is it just me or did Mike hedges come across there as a complete apologist for Cardiff and really not getting it?


Edwina Hart was supposed to be representing this area wasn't she?
That's the problem with the welsh assembly labour group, hey're whipped so hard they have to toe the party line.
I an't wait for the next assembly elections, I hope Plaid kick the living f*ck out of labour and feast on Carwyn Jones' still lukewarm blood. The arrogant self serving c*nt

Each time I go to Bedd - au........................

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:25 - Aug 24 with 4895 viewsBrynmill_Jack

WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:25 - Aug 24 by Brynmill_Jack

Edwina Hart was supposed to be representing this area wasn't she?
That's the problem with the welsh assembly labour group, hey're whipped so hard they have to toe the party line.
I an't wait for the next assembly elections, I hope Plaid kick the living f*ck out of labour and feast on Carwyn Jones' still lukewarm blood. The arrogant self serving c*nt


That was obviously a metaphor

Each time I go to Bedd - au........................

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:44 - Aug 24 with 4856 viewswestside

hedges and harris are labour so they ain't going to rock the labour run assembly.

don't vote labour in the may election and wipe out labour like what happened in scotland.
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:48 - Aug 24 with 4843 viewsnantywatcher

I'm a Bristolian now living in Bridgend (halfway between Cardiff and Swansea) and from day one I have always been amazed at how quickly you can get in and out of Cardiff - I find it mind blowing that the WAG says money needs to be spent on the infrastructure, no doubt if they say it often enough people will start to believe it. As an outsider I think it is a national disgrace the unbalanced bias in favour of Cardiff compared to the rest of this wonderful country.It is glaringly obvious and to be asked to provide proof is a joke. (Missing word added!)
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:53 - Aug 24 with 4838 viewsSlugster664

WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:44 - Aug 24 by westside

hedges and harris are labour so they ain't going to rock the labour run assembly.

don't vote labour in the may election and wipe out labour like what happened in scotland.


Not my best subject politics...would a Tory run WAG be better for the rest of Wales? Now thinking about that question, they couldn't be any worse could they 😕

STID

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 09:00 - Aug 25 with 4661 viewsJackSomething

Good on the OP for making the effort to hold our elected representatives responsible.

Just a quick point, Richard Youle is a reporter and asked you for evidence that Cardiff gets a disproportionate amount of investment in response to your email. What a pathetic attitude from a journalist. I would have thought investigating things like that would still be in a journalist's job description. But no, he'd like you to do his job for him.

You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don't help.

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 09:31 - Aug 25 with 4636 viewsoh_tommy_tommy

WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 09:00 - Aug 25 by JackSomething

Good on the OP for making the effort to hold our elected representatives responsible.

Just a quick point, Richard Youle is a reporter and asked you for evidence that Cardiff gets a disproportionate amount of investment in response to your email. What a pathetic attitude from a journalist. I would have thought investigating things like that would still be in a journalist's job description. But no, he'd like you to do his job for him.


Correct

Say journalism is all about clicking on the internet these days instead of getting out there .

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 09:54 - Aug 25 with 4617 viewsjohnlangy

Many thanks for the positive responses.

I'll be emailing Mike Hedges and Carolyn Harris explaining about the thread (I told them I was going to start one) so they have a chance to check it out. If i've misrepresented what they said/meant they can post themselves and correct me. They'd also be able to respond if a post suggests they are just following the party line (westside) or that Mike is an apologist for Cardiff (Neathjack). If they don't respond we'll be left with the belief that those criticisms are true. Perhaps if I include the comments in the emails that should ensure they read the thread. .

I'll also be emailing Richard Youle for him to check out the thread as well. Maybe one or more of you has actual evidence of the bias but all i'm aware of is people's opinions. And those opinions appear to be exclusively one way.

Back to my discussions with Mike and Carolyn, they took note of what I said but if i'm the only one that makes the point then they may very well just ignore me. The more people that respond to this thread the better. And if more people lobby them or the other local AM's/MP's they'll have to listen.
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 10:03 - Aug 25 with 4601 viewsLeonisGod

WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 09:54 - Aug 25 by johnlangy

Many thanks for the positive responses.

I'll be emailing Mike Hedges and Carolyn Harris explaining about the thread (I told them I was going to start one) so they have a chance to check it out. If i've misrepresented what they said/meant they can post themselves and correct me. They'd also be able to respond if a post suggests they are just following the party line (westside) or that Mike is an apologist for Cardiff (Neathjack). If they don't respond we'll be left with the belief that those criticisms are true. Perhaps if I include the comments in the emails that should ensure they read the thread. .

I'll also be emailing Richard Youle for him to check out the thread as well. Maybe one or more of you has actual evidence of the bias but all i'm aware of is people's opinions. And those opinions appear to be exclusively one way.

Back to my discussions with Mike and Carolyn, they took note of what I said but if i'm the only one that makes the point then they may very well just ignore me. The more people that respond to this thread the better. And if more people lobby them or the other local AM's/MP's they'll have to listen.


Re. 'evidence', it's not really difficult to see that Cardiff has developed significantly more - that's not anyone's opinion, it's just a fact that's blindingly obvious to anyone who has visited the 2 places. As for some stats to show that gap, well you've started that in your first thread. I suspect it wouldn't be too difficult to find out how much the respective developments across the two cities have cost with a little bit of background research.
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 10:21 - Aug 25 with 4582 viewsUxbridge

WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 22:25 - Aug 24 by Brynmill_Jack

Edwina Hart was supposed to be representing this area wasn't she?
That's the problem with the welsh assembly labour group, hey're whipped so hard they have to toe the party line.
I an't wait for the next assembly elections, I hope Plaid kick the living f*ck out of labour and feast on Carwyn Jones' still lukewarm blood. The arrogant self serving c*nt


Don't get me started on Edwina Hart. That woman was supposed to be representing the people of Gower, yet she oversaw the stripping of service after service of the local NHS. Little wonder the parliamentary constituency finally turned blue.

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 11:02 - Aug 25 with 4544 viewsBrynmill_Jack

WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 10:21 - Aug 25 by Uxbridge

Don't get me started on Edwina Hart. That woman was supposed to be representing the people of Gower, yet she oversaw the stripping of service after service of the local NHS. Little wonder the parliamentary constituency finally turned blue.


So there we have it. Why vote for con life when you can have the real thing? And the other 3 contenders reckon Corbyn would make Labour "unelectable". But it's ok for Edwina too though

Each time I go to Bedd - au........................

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 11:04 - Aug 25 with 4544 viewsScoobyDoo

I would have thought that building a relief road on the M4 to avoid the Brynglas tunnels would benefit the whole of South Wales and not just Cardiff.
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 11:30 - Aug 25 with 4518 viewsClinton

I applaud your initiative. And agree the Assembly needs to get behind Swansea.

Just a points, though. There has been a lot of investment of various types, but mostly wasted.
11 million for the bus station that looks pretty similar to how it used to. And we lost that car park behind the Grand.
Then the train station revamps just gave us new paving and a smarter frontage etc, but no real improvement to functionality.
Then there's the boulevard. More new paving and little else.
Then there's the bendy bus. They actually made the road system worse to accomodate it, and killed a few people along the way.
Conclusion. We have had quite a lot of investment in Swansea, a lot of it funded by Europe, that's been spent on new paving and and a bit of smartening up, but no real improvements.

The next bit of investment will be to rebuild a perfectly fine civic centre building on the Kingsway in the old Odeon. Not sure where the staff and public will park for that one mind.

When are we going to make some real improvements ?

If you can fill the unforgiving minute. With sixty seconds' worth of distance run, Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 11:52 - Aug 25 with 4490 viewsJackSomething

WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 11:30 - Aug 25 by Clinton

I applaud your initiative. And agree the Assembly needs to get behind Swansea.

Just a points, though. There has been a lot of investment of various types, but mostly wasted.
11 million for the bus station that looks pretty similar to how it used to. And we lost that car park behind the Grand.
Then the train station revamps just gave us new paving and a smarter frontage etc, but no real improvement to functionality.
Then there's the boulevard. More new paving and little else.
Then there's the bendy bus. They actually made the road system worse to accomodate it, and killed a few people along the way.
Conclusion. We have had quite a lot of investment in Swansea, a lot of it funded by Europe, that's been spent on new paving and and a bit of smartening up, but no real improvements.

The next bit of investment will be to rebuild a perfectly fine civic centre building on the Kingsway in the old Odeon. Not sure where the staff and public will park for that one mind.

When are we going to make some real improvements ?


No arguing with you on the boulevard and the bendy bus, although the boulevard was meant to be phase one of a far grander scheme that had to be abandoned following the economic downturn.

The bus station is a massive improvement on the old one which was in a horrendous state. I tend to agree with you on the train station, but these are two venues which are the first thing many visitors to Swansea see, so important to improve them.

The civic centre needs to be rebuilt because the current one sits on one of the prime locations in Swansea and is therefore being sold. Moving the majority of the council staff to a new building on the Kingsway (which will presumably attract subsidies and grants to build) could actually provide a huge boost to the Kingsway and the City centre. The parking issue does need to be addressed though, you're not wrong there.

As you say, a lot of this has been funded by Europe. So that's money that the various people running the council over the years have applied for. Some money/support will have come from the Welsh Government, but clearly nowhere near as much has been poured into Cardiff. Hence the fact a lot of our work has been cosmetic as we haven't had enough investment to undertake major works.

Not having a clear vision for the city hasn't helped mind. There are some signs that is changing, but I'm not holding my breath just yet.

You know, Hobbes, some days even my lucky rocket ship underpants don't help.

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 11:59 - Aug 25 with 4479 viewsyescomeon

I guess that the question of interest here is "is WAG money being spent disproportionately in Cardiff?". Being tax payers money they should have kept the receipts so to speak. As a member of the public you should be able to gain access to the figure, through the freedom of information act, although I am no expert on that (best hurry before the Tories get rid of it though). One would think that that "journalist" would know about freedom of information act and getting info on government spending etc, you know, it being his job and all. You could always ask him what he knows on requesting information. I would imagine you would need to know exactly what you are looking for, which might be tricky to figure out.

Upthecity!

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 12:15 - Aug 25 with 4453 viewsperchrockjack

Johnlangy.

About time someone like you challenged those with influence.

Sorry but the evidence suggested is all to evident.

Sadly, it seems Cardiff is go ahead..can do whereas Swansea isn't.

Change needed

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 13:15 - Aug 25 with 4407 viewsUxbridge

WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 11:02 - Aug 25 by Brynmill_Jack

So there we have it. Why vote for con life when you can have the real thing? And the other 3 contenders reckon Corbyn would make Labour "unelectable". But it's ok for Edwina too though


The whole Corbyn line of attack baffles me. Allegedly if he wins it will split the party. But what happens if he loses, wouldn't the same hold? The press attacks on him have been pretty disgraceful IMO. I'd have far more respect for Labour under him than I have for the last decade at least.

Blog: Whose money is it anyway?

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 14:47 - Aug 25 with 4348 viewsWingstandwood

Respect to johnlangy!.......The Labour Party had better start appealing to the more discerning potential Labour voter whom has the intellect and knowledge to weigh up his/her options otherwise they will say tatty-bye to Labour at the ballot box.

The tribal 'vote for a Labour monkey' brigade of the older generation is declining year in and year out with the passage of time. Labour had better start earning its vote otherwise its going to lose a good few seats here and there!
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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 14:51 - Aug 25 with 4343 viewsfather_jack

and people still bleat on about a tory govt with this shower in charge in mogadisdiff.

DRINK, FECK, GIRRRRLLSSS!

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 16:20 - Aug 25 with 4275 viewsperchrockjack

ux.

Here s why

A man who has instigated meetings with terrorists ,a man who wants to take control of everything and a man who will see your net household income be hammered with you being a well paid professional and to all intents and purposes "middle class".

No mystery at all really.


If he were to become PM ,it will at least make this country get off its arse and see the light.

I ll be off

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WAG investment in Cardiff compared with the rest of Wales on 17:56 - Aug 25 with 4215 viewsPrivate_Partz

Well done JL! I have blown enough hot air on here but you have actually gone and done something about it. Many thanks for the detailed post. I am hoping to have some more time on my hands within the next few months and I will join you in lobbying Local Councillors, AMs and MPs. I will probably go there armed with some FOI responses in the first instance.
I think there should be a website where a 'WAG Watch' could take place where the investment, and lack of it, is highlight so all interested parties can view what is going on and users can post their responses accordingly. This last bit is beyond me but I am sure there are enough interested parties to get this off the ground. We shall see.

You have mission in life to hold out your hand, To help the other guy out, Help your fellow man. Stan Ridgway

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