Clock ticking on the devolution of water warning issued
Liz Saville Roberts MP and Dafydd Wigley have called for Wales to have full control over its water resources to address the problem of sewage being dumped in waterways, and to help reduce water bills.
Both also criticised the current model, which denies the Welsh Government the ability to stop or control the transfer of water from Wales by private companies that are mainly based in England, but whose jurisdiction does extend into Wales.
The two senior Plaid Cymru politicians were speaking at the Llŷn and Eifionydd National Eisteddfod, at an event chaired by party’s parliamentary candidate for the newly created seat of Bangor Aberconwy, Catrin Wager.
Dafydd Wigley said: “The clock is ticking, and assurance is needed from the Welsh government that they are alert to their responsibility to protect the territory and interests of Wales; rather than coming to a servile agreement with Westminster and water companies in England.
“We must have these assurances now, in black and white and irrevocably. Because if there is a change of government in Westminster after the next election, how much can we then trust the Labour Party in the Senedd to protect Welsh interests when they come under pressure from Keir Starmer, who – as always – will put the interests of Westminster above the interests of Wales?”
Referring to the findings of the Silk Commission, which recommended the full devolution of water to Wales– as is already the case in Northern Ireland and Scotland, Ms Saville Roberts also criticised the Welsh Government for delaying the devolution of these powers despite the Wales Act 2017 allowing for their transfer.
Ms Saville Roberts said: “To say the least, it is an entirely inadequate situation that our own elected government refuses responsibilities for our natural resources. The failure of the Welsh Government to formally demand the powers proves once again that only Plaid Cymru is ready to stand up for Wales.
“The constitutional morass over our natural resources shows without a doubt that the idea of a United Kingdom is a fiction. Plaid Cymru will continue to make the argument for the full devolution of powers over water, so that decisions over Welsh resources take place in Wales.”
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