Cairns under fire as Welsh Conservatives say no Swansea tidal lagoon ‘desperately depressing’

The proposed lagoon (left) and Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns (right).

The Welsh Conservatives have said that their own Westminster Government’s decision to pull the plug on the Swansea tidal lagoon is ‘desperately depressing’.

This comes as Plaid Cymru have tabled a vote of no confidence in the Secretary of State for Wales, Alun Cairns.

Conservative regional Assembly Member for South Wales West, Suzy Davies, said that the Conservatives in Wales had been “incredibly supportive of the concept and worked tirelessly to make it a reality”.

“There is no disguising that this is a desperately depressing decision for Swansea, the wider region, and my constituents,” she said.

“Whilst acknowledging some of the difficulties regarding the numbers, this scheme held great promise from both an energy and regeneration perspective, particularly with the strength and beauty of the South Wales coastline.

“The Tidal concept continues to enjoy huge support in Wales and we remain convinced there’s still space for the UK Government and a developer to work on such a scheme in Wales going forward.”

‘Confidence’

Plaid Cymru formally tabled a vote of no confidence in the Secretary of State for Wales Alun Cairns at the National Assembly for Wales.

The motion proposed that the National Assembly for Wales:

  1. No longer has confidence in the Secretary of State for Wales to deliver major infrastructure projects, following the decision of the Westminster government not to support the Swansea Bay tidal lagoon.
  2. Has no confidence in the post of the Secretary of State for Wales and believes it should be abolished and replaced with a properly constituted UK Council of Ministers with shared and equal decision-making powers.

Simon Thomas AM, shadow cabinet secretary for energy, climate change and rural affairs, said that Alun Cairns was responsible for “a long line of failures”.

“The UK Government has time and time again failed to invest in Wales,” he said.

“The failed electrification of Wales’ railways, and now the rejection of the Tidal Lagoon prove that the Secretary of State for Wales has no credibility and is not fit to represent Wales in public office.  He must resign at once.

“We have therefore formally called a motion of no confidence at the National Assembly for Wales in both Alun Cairns MP and the official post of the Secretary of State for Wales.”

‘Control’

Plaid Cymru’s Energy spokesperson in Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts MP, said the decision demonstrates the need for Wales to gain greater control over its own future.

“Every single party represented in the National Assembly has backed the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and yet, Westminster has told us we can’t do it,” she said.

“It is a sorry state of affairs that our national parliament can be so wilfully overruled by a Westminster government over the border, for whom the people of Wales did not vote.

“Wales’s coastline is an untapped resource. The tidal lagoon would have been a first step towards making Wales a world leader in a new and innovative technology with the potential to power our future.

“Westminster is refusing to invest to create well-paid jobs in Wales, while at the same time threatening the ones which already exist, through its irresponsible stance on Brexit.

“This latest block on Wales’ future is a perfect demonstration of the need for Wales to gain greater control over its own future. We cannot continue to allow our country to be held back by Westminster.”

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