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‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’: Welsh Secretary says there is no ‘public appetite’ for giving Wales control of Crown Estate

05 Jan 2022 2 minutes Read
Simon Hart photo by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). Wind farm picture by Andy Dingley (CC BY-SA 3.0).

The UK Government’s Welsh Secretary has said that there is no “public interest or appetite” in transferring control of the £500m Crown Estate to Wales.

Simon Hart was responding to a question from Plaid Cymru MP Liz Saville-Roberts who said there was a clear majority in the Senedd to support the principle of Wales having the same powers as Scotland over the Crown Estate.

But Simon Hart responded to say that ‘”frankly, it is a case of, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.

“The relationship that the Crown Estate enjoys with the UK Government, the Welsh Government and stakeholders works very well,” he said.

“I do not think there is any public interest or appetite for altering the terms of that arrangement.”

His comments come after First Minister Mark Drakeford said that he was open to the £500m Crown Estate being transferred to Welsh control.

Mark Drakeford said it is “definitely an idea we should take seriously”, pointing out that control of the Crown Estate is is already “devolved to Scotland”.

One of the Welsh Government’s strategies for tackling the climate emergency is to make the most of Wales’ natural resources, including wind and wave power.

The Crown Estate, which holds the rights to seabeds around the British Isles, is a collection of lands and holdings in the United Kingdom belonging to the British monarch.

However, 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.

Speaking at Westminster, Liz Saville Roberts had said that Plaid Cymru’s co-operation agreement with the Welsh Government agreed that further powers were needed to support our path to net zero— “specifically on the management of the Crown Estate and its assets in Wales”.

“Given that there is now a clear majority in the Senedd to support the principle of Wales having the same powers, remember, as there are regarding the Crown Estate of Scotland, will the Minister also support my Bill to ensure that the profits of offshore wind go to the people of Wales?”


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Gareth Wyn Jones
Gareth Wyn Jones
6 months ago

Can he show us the evidence that backs up that there is no appetite for us to take back control? Really?

Gareth
Gareth
6 months ago

Redwood mk2, why let Wales have money, when it can go to the UK Treasury.

George
George
6 months ago

I find that public interest and appetite is for clean roads, cheap alcohol and cheap fuel. If government’s only acted upon what there was appetite for then we’d all own our own bar, but responsible governments should do more and this is a real action that would make Wales and the UK better (and Wales within the UK) and it’s being shouted down because a) it’s come from Labour and b) it would make Wales better.

John
John
6 months ago

Cala!

Ed Jones
Ed Jones
6 months ago

What an odd collection of politicians (hello to the Tories in the room!) we have in Wales – some of them (clearly, I again mean the Tories!) actively work to harm our beloved country – are there any other countries where the populace has to put up with such quisling behaviour? We are kept poor and then pilloried for being in need; having parity with Scotland would obviously help in this regard, having some respect shown to us would be most welcome too.

R W
R W
6 months ago

If that’s what he really thinks then he clearly has no idea what the people of Wales want. Independence is the only way to stop Hart and his Tory pals from obstructing and holding back our nation.

Richard
Richard
5 months ago

‘ If it aint broke….etc ….your are of course 100 per cent right ✅

The communities within our nation feel the same my friend ⚠️ ⛔️

It is YOUR lead role to to seek to ‘ fix ‘ the current relstionship between our organs of governance in Wales….rather than be remembered as just a foot note in our new Welsh history books…. 📕

hdavies15
hdavies15
5 months ago
Reply to  Richard

He has no clue about how broke, i.e damaged, our country is as a result of his party’s obsession with centralised control in London. To fix it we need a grip on the levers of power and finance and that Crown Estate is a sizeable chunk that could be employed beneficially.

Dafydd
Dafydd
5 months ago

Hey Hart – I own the freehold title to the land my house and garden are located on and fancy relinquishing all control of it to you because, as a typical Welsh person I have no idea how to run my own property in a way that best suits my needs and that of my neighbours. Can you please send in your elite, omnipotent, all knowing conservative colleagues to take control of it for me please? I’m sure that having you in control of my land will work out just fine for me and my neighbours – all of whom… Read more »

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
5 months ago

You must see that the UK system is really broke. It’s the typical Tory “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” – Just wait for it to break & fail and cause a disaster. Everything needs to be maintained regularly to keep it in good working order. Wales is being treated the same way by the UK system as the energy companies were when they were still nationalised in the UK. The UK treasury took took all their money and when they then needed back to invest – they handed some of that same money back as a subsidy making… Read more »

j humphrys
j humphrys
5 months ago

………….causing great embarrassment and not a little dismay for you know where.

Jack Bryn
Jack Bryn
5 months ago

Simon Hart really does despise the Senedd, and the people of Wales, doesn’t he? But don’t worry, we’ll wake up soon and start seriously contemplating Independence, and he’ll be ermine-clad Lord Hart before he knows it.

Malcolm rj
Malcolm rj
5 months ago

What sort of nutcase is Simon hart who would not want over five hundred and fifty million pounds to spend and the way that it’s growing it’s going to be a lot bigger in a short time ask Scotland and Ireland to see if they would give it back to the English treshery to spend that Simon hart is against anything for Wales God help Wales the only hope is independence

Quornby
Quornby
5 months ago

What does this johnsonite yes man know about us or what our appetites might or might not be? Anyway his job is redundant so he should mutate into a historical footnote.

Peter Cuthbert
Peter Cuthbert
5 months ago
Reply to  Quornby

Right on folks! However bear in mind he says there is no evidence of Welsh people wanting to take over Crown Estates. We had better send him the evidence by writing to him. Simply email him at [simon.hart.mp@parliament.uk] and tell him what you think. (Politely though, as we are a civilized people in Wales not like the kindergarten crazies one sees in the H of P).

Androw Bennett
Androw Bennett
5 months ago

Hart is so uneducated that, when he was offered the choice of which Bible on which to be sworn into the Commons after the 2019 General Election, he tried to show his “knowledge” by asking for a “normal” Bible! Ever since then I (as an Atheist) realise that I know more about Christianity than he does and I have every right (like most other Cymry) to think that I have more knowledge and understanding of most things, particularly relating to Cymru, than he does.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
5 months ago

Simon Hart forgets. Why did Britain leave the EU? It wasn’t perfect, nothing is, but it certainly wasn’t broken. And look where we are now. In utter chaos whilst former British colonies with a begging bowl. If the democratically elected Welsh Government, who only last May won power with a mandate from the Welsh people, want the devolution of Policing , Criminal Justice Systems and wants the devolution of the Crown Estate, as Welsh Secretary Simon Hart should act on their & our behalf by respecting the will of the people as they told us with the Brexit vote and… Read more »

Dafydd
Dafydd
5 months ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Or we simply just convey those powers on ourselves.

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