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North Wales ‘receives crumbs from table’ Conservative MS

22 May 2024 3 minute read
Darren Millar MS speaking in the Senedd

Chris Haines, ICNN Senedd reporter

North Wales receives “crumbs from the table” compared to the Welsh Government’s investment in the south of the country, according to a Conservative MS.

Darren Millar, who represents Clwyd West, warned that north Wales is not receiving its fair share as he called for a levelling-up agenda within Wales.

The Conservative MS criticised a “disparity” in spending, with the south Wales metro getting more than £1bn while the project in the north has been allocated a “mere” £50m.

He told the chamber: “Even when accounting for population differences, south Wales is still getting more than five times the investment per capita than north Wales.”

“That is not good enough, what are you going to do to address that gross unfairness?”

‘Vague promises’

Ken Skates, cabinet secretary for north Wales and transport, said the south Wales metro is part of the city deal but the north Wales rail project is not part of the equivalent growth deal.

Pointing out that the Welsh Government is not responsible for rail infrastructure in north Wales, he said: “We have to have those responsible for funding them writing the cheques.

“We’re not getting that. We’ve had a vague promise of money for the mainline electrification, which, with just £1bn, would probably only electrify it from Chester to Prestatyn at best.”

Mr Skates called for a firm commitment from the UK Government on the Marches and Wrexham to Bidston lines as well as the mainline.

“We need them to promise that it won’t just be electrification from Chester to Prestatyn, but the whole way through to Holyhead,” he said.


Mr Millar criticised a lack of investment in road infrastructure and warned north Wales councils usually fare worse in budget settlements.

During questions on north Wales and transport, he told the Senedd: “You’re building new hospitals in south Wales, but not in the north. That is the record of this government.”

The Tory added: “A pittance has been thrown, like crumbs from the table, to the people of north Wales, who, frankly, are very angry with the Welsh Government for that situation.”

Mr Millar highlighted a “huge disparity and unfairness” on railway ticket prices, saying people in north Wales have to pay double for similar journeys.

After the meeting on May 22, he warned that the north-south divide has never been worse.

‘Treasury says no’

Mr Skates, who returned to the frontbench in March, reiterated calls for the UK Government to invest in north Wales infrastructure and capacity constraints at Chester.

“They kept saying ‘no’,” he said, pointing out that the Welsh Government has invested in the Wrexham to Chester doubling despite the UK Treasury being responsible.

Wales’ transport secretary, who represents Clwyd South, also criticised UK ministers for rejecting calls for a degree of control over Avanti West Coast.

Mr Skates told the Senedd: “Transport for Wales’ punctuality is far higher, far higher than Avanti West Coast, which the UK Government is responsible for….

“They went ahead with giving Avanti West Coast, a very poor performer compared to TfW, another several years of operating that failed rail service.”

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Y Cymro
14 days ago

I like to remind Darren Millar that his party denied Wales billions in HS2 consequential that could have been spent in the North of our country on infrastructure. He forgets that his party has cut our block by a billion plus. Also, where’s the spades in the ground concerning rail electrification on the North announced by Rishy Sunak earlier in the year? Remember the manifesto pledge to electrify the tracks by between Cardiff to Swansea only for it to be scrapped. The same will happen with projects in the North be it rail electrification and the recent Wylfa Newydd Nuclear… Read more »

14 days ago

Quote: “North Wales receives “crumbs from the table” compared to the Welsh Government’s investment in the south of the country, according to a Conservative MS.” Please get it right Mr. Millar. Don’t you mean the “south east of the country”?

14 days ago

Wow, the absolute cheek of these people, who while they complain, and rightly so because not enough investments goes to North Wales, says absolutely nothing When Wales as a whole gets crumbs by their English masters. These people have zero self awareness!

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