Boris Johnson could ‘level up’ Wales by transferring £500m Crown Estate to Welsh control says MP
The Prime Minister could ‘level up’ Wales by transferring the £500m Crown Estate to Welsh control, an MP has said.
Liz Saville Roberts MP urged Boris Johnson to support her Crown Estate (Devolution to Wales) Bill, which would “bring half a billion pounds worth of offshore wind and tidal stream potential under Welsh control”.
The Crown Estate is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch. It is already devolved to Scotland but powers over the management of Crown Estate in Wales are still held in Westminster, and the revenues proceed directly to the UK Government’s Treasury.
The value of the Crown Estate Wales’ renewable assets grew from £49.2m in 2020 to £549.1m in 2021, but that wealth was hoarded in the south east of England, Liz Saville Roberts said.
She urged the Prime Minister to put his ‘levelling up’ rhetoric into action by using the upcoming COP26 climate summit in Glasgow to “entrust the people of Wales with the means to manage our offshore wind and tidal resources for everyone’s benefit”.
Speaking in the House of Commons today, Liz Saville Roberts said: “If COP26 is to be successful, people must be at the heart of our net zero mission. For too long, the UK economy has left too many people behind while wealth and investment hoarded in the south east of England.
“Devolving powers over the Crown Estate would bring half a billion pounds worth of offshore wind and tidal stream potential under Welsh control – assets currently controlled by Westminster. Scotland, meanwhile already has these powers.
“Will he support my Bill to devolve the management of the Crown Estate to Wales?”
The Prime Minister however responded by saying that the Crown Estate would not be devolved.
“As the right hon. Lady already knows, the Crown Estate works closely with the Welsh Government and Natural Resources Wales,” he said.
“I am sorry to have to tell her that my view is that the devolution of the Crown Estate in Wales would fragment the market, complicate existing processes and make it more difficult for Wales, as well as the whole UK, to move forward to net zero.”
Speaking after the session, Liz Saville Roberts said: “Boris Johnson talks the talk on ‘levelling up’, but this is little more than an election slogan.
“If he truly believed in rebalancing the economy, he would entrust the people of Wales with the means to manage our offshore wind and tidal resources for everyone’s benefit.”
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