Tag Archives: Welsh Government

‘Wylfa development is not a black and white issue’, says Rhun ap Iorwerth

Following the People Against Wylfa B (PAWB) protest conducted on the Menai Bridge yesterday, Rhun ap Iorwerth says he ‘completely understands the concerns about the Wylfa Development’.

Four years on from the Fukushima disaster in Japan, peaceful protesters gathered on the Menai Bridge to voice their concerns about the oft-criticised development proposal.

Protesters gathered during rush hour traffic, some dressed in anti-radiation suits, to voice their concerns regarding the potential development and the dangers of nuclear energy in general.

Rhun ap Iorwerth said: ‘I have always said that it is not a black and white issue, it is not all bad, it is not all good – it is somewhere in the middle where people have genuine concerns.

‘On balance I think people support the economic potential of Wylfa but I think it is vitally important that people who have deep concerns are allowed to voice those concerns and are listened to.’

The proposed development came under more scrutiny recently after the current plant shut down its reactor to investigate a fault. Mr ap Iorwerth said the development could happen, but barriers need to be overcome.

‘It seems at this point in time that it could well happen but there are lots of barriers in terms of funding that need to be overcome in order to make it happen.

‘The fact that there will always be risks whether it happens or not means that we have to keep on driving other elements of the local economy and continue to look at opportunities through renewables.’

A lot of preparation work will need to be done between now and when the development takes place, if it is to go ahead at all, but Mr ap Iorwerth is sure he is up to the task of doing so.

‘I will keep on pushing in the meantime to ensure that as preparations are made for Wylfa we ensure that job opportunities for local young people are maximised.

‘We will look after our communities at the time of the development if it goes ahead. The Wylfa project brings opportunities and threats; it is my job to ensure that we look at it in its entirety and look after the benefits of Anglesey.’

Mr ap Iorwerth admitted that one of the ideas on the table with regards to renewables is a proposal for a third bridge across the Menai Strait, combined with a turbine to harness power.

Although the former journalist was keen to outline that this is nothing more than an idea on the table at the moment, he said he believes a third bridge would be necessary eventually.

‘The idea certainly hasn’t been progressed in any way but we need to look at opportunities, not so much if, but when a third bridge comes because we will need another bridge at some point in time.’

‘It is a matter I have discussed myself but it is very much just an idea at this stage, an idea that is on the table. If we can be innovative in the use of the bridge then we should do it.’

You can follow Rhun ap Iorwerth on Twitter here and find his comments on the Team GB proposal here.



Anglesey Assembly Member strongly opposes Team GB Proposal

Rhun ap Iorwerth today criticised the English FA’s attempts to form a Team GB football team for the 2016 Olympics as something that ‘threatens the independence of our FAs’.

The GB football team at the 2012 Olympics was pitched as a one off, but still caused outrage as Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland saw the move as a threat to their independent status.

The emergence of a possible team for 2016 has seen the FA come under fire for organising the proposal with the British Olympic Association without the consent of the other three nations.

Rhun ap Iorweth expressed his disappointment with The FA’s actions: ‘I am disappointed the English FA would do this. We were told at the 2012 Olympics that a Team GB football team was a one off.

‘The FAW and SFA made it quite clear in 2012 that they were opposed to it but here the English FA are now going into 2016 and surprise, surprise they want a Team GB again.’

FAW President Trefor Lloyd Hughes added: ‘The BOA should be more open and transparent. It’s supposed to be the British Olympic Association not the English Olympic Association.

‘I am absolutely gutted with the English FA. If they want to work with us they have to be more open with us and they don’t seem to be keeping to agreements. I’m livid about it.’

Mr ap Iorwerth noted that although assurances have been given by FIFA that joining forces for the Olympics wouldn’t threaten each country’s status, the implications of a GB Team are huge.

‘This taps into a much bigger debate about national identity. We have a great, longstanding tradition of our teams playing independently of each other and against each other. ‘Frankly I think we should make sure we aren’t in a position where we undermine in anyway the integrity or the independence of our own football associations,’ He added.

The ex-journalist said that as well as the discussions that are known to be on-going between the home nations now on this matter, the public and politicians have a role to play in proceedings.

‘Politicians have a role because at the end of the day some of us are football fans and if we can use our platform to bring attention to the issue and help in any way then we have a responsibility to do so.’

The reaction to this issue in Wales particularly has been very anti-Team-GB, as many high-profile figures have criticised the proposal, but some have used the British and Irish Lions as an example of how this could work.

Mr ap Iorweth acknowledges that point but outlines the key differences: ‘I support the British and Irish Lions but the situation is totally different as there is a lot more respect to each country.

‘You only have to look at the badge to see that – each country is fairly represented. As well as that, it is a specialised tournament that is played every four years and selects players from each nation.’

The Plaid Cymru AM also referred to home nation cricket teams as an example of the disrespect that Wales could receive if it were to become part of a Team GB.

Having noted on his Twitter feed that he felt Wales could’ve qualified for the group stages of the Cricket World Cup, Mr ap Iorwerth said to me: ‘The situation regarding cricket is quite disrespectful to Wales I think.

‘What is officially abbreviated to ECB is actually the Wales and England Cricket board, and when the team plays they are only referred to as England which is totally disrespectful to Wales.’ He added.

This morning saw rumours emerge in the Daily Telegraph that the FA’s proposal was in tatters as Wales and Northern Ireland have again taken a strong stance on the issue.

It is unclear whether or not the rumours have any substance but, given Trefor Lloyd Hughes’ insistence that it would be difficult to block the FA, expect this debate to develop in the coming months.