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Tories brand levy on water and electricity exported from Powys ‘anti-UK’

09 Dec 2022 3 minute read
Conservative Cllr Pete Lewington (left) and Lake Vyrnwy (right).

Elgan Hearn, local democracy reporter

Conservative councillors have branded a motion asking for a levy to be put on water and electricity supplied from Powys as anti-United Kingdom as playing into the hands of Welsh Nationalists.

At a Powys County Council meeting on Thursday, December 8, councillors debated a motion by cabinet member for a connected Powys, Cllr Jake Berriman.

He wants the council to ask the UK and Welsh Government to put in place the necessary legal frameworks to allow Powys to retain some financial benefit from exporting the water and energy resources captured and generated in the county.

Liberal Democrat, Cllr Berriman explained that the money raised would be used by the council to address global warming.

The motion was seconded by non-affiliated Cllr Jeff Morgan who said that Powys needed: “more motions that generate wealth.”

Plaid Cymru group leader, Cllr Elwyn Vaughan said: “I would like to congratulate the proposer and seconder, this is something I have been talking about for many years and Plaid Cymru have been at the forefront of this.

“We should own these natural resources.”

But Conservative group leader, Cllr Aled Davies said: “This charge will land on the bills of the users of that water and electricity.

“This is clearly the wrong time to do this.

“We are much stronger together as a United Kingdom, this is playing into the hands of my colleague over there (Cllr Elwyn Vaughan) and councillor brawd bach, (his younger brother Cllr Bryn Davies also of Plaid Cymru) it’s important that we oppose this motion.”

‘Nationalism’

Cllr Pete Lewington said: “The way the motion uses the word export makes it sound as if the rest of the United Kingdom is a foreign country.

“This should not be about England versus Wales.

“If we were to follow this separatist agenda, we may then in turn get charged for air imports and this may outweigh any income this anti-United Kingdom approach will generate.

“On the basis that we are a United Kingdom I am vehemently against the underlying message in this motion.”

“This motion is a prime example of both wasting councillors time and playing politics.”

Cllr Gwynfor Thomas added: “This council does not have any legal power to implement this, I don’t know why it’s here.”

Cabinet member for a safer Powys, Liberal Democrat Cllr Richard Church said: “This motion is about Powys not Wales.

“I don’t want the English Nationalist party in the shape of the Conservatives or the Welsh Nationalist (Plaid Cymru) party to bring nationalism into this debate as it’s not relevant.”

Cllr Berriman said: “To be clear I’m a unionist and nothing I have said is remotely party political.

“We don’t have tax raising powers of this nature in Powys, others do and that’s why I’m seeking through this motion to ask them to help us to get a little bit of extra cash to help us face down the challenges in the difficult times ahead.”

The motion was put to the vote and was approved with 40 votes in favour and 19 against.


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
1 month ago

Well…to be fair he’s right…lety me finish, no shouting. The Uk is a very explorative body that treats Cymru as a vassal state at best, at worst as nought but the green bit full of yokels and professional thieves… This move to see Powys fairly and properly recompensed (or at least the beginning of the road to that) is something that stops Powys from being exploited as it was before and as I noted above the “UK” is an explorative body, ergo, things that are anti-exploitation are anti-“UK”

Cynan again
Cynan again
1 month ago

He says that like it’s a “bad thing”

Frank
Frank
1 month ago

“anti United Kingdom”!!! These tories would do well to remember that the government, especially Welsh Secretaries, are very anti Wales for as long as I can remember. Let’s just start with the £5bn compensation Wales should receive in lieu of HS2. Then let’s get on to poor lack of funding the Welsh NHS.

Hywel
Hywel
1 month ago
Reply to  Frank

That’s not just the £5Bn they stole from the Cymru Rail Budget to help pay for HS2, Frank, but the £10Bn compensation Yr Alban and GI got on top – we’re down £15Bn here, and it’s all England’nwales. Darlledwch, Educate the Cymru as to how they’re being shafted.

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
1 month ago

The Tories will never back anything that benefits Cymru. Once we are independent I doubt very much that the party will exist much as an electral force here. They’ll be better off packing their bags and crossing the border once self determination is realised. Or even now the way the polls are for them here.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
1 month ago

A very revealing set of comments by the Tory which crystalise the ultra-unionist mindset. I anticipate waiting forever for them to support just one proposal that is even vaguely pro-Wales.

Karl
Karl
1 month ago

It’s pro local people. Surely that’s pro UK capitalist approach. I think it’s great. Same should happen with our power generation across Cymru. If England doesn’t try, it pays the capitalist prices.

Mawkernewek
1 month ago

“We may then in turn get charged for air imports” – seriously this was said in a council meeting by an elected politician?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
1 month ago

This Conservative councilor Pete Lewington is a treacherous anti-Wales bigoted buffoon. I didn’t hear the same vitriol made towards his beloved Conservative government in London when they referred to HS2 as an “England & Wales” build robbing not only our Senedd treasury but also those living in Powys their share where both Scotland & NI will receive billions in consequential over its lifetime as anti-Welsh. What this intellectual toadstool must get into his thick skull is that if Wales want to profit from its natural resources produced have every right! The Tories truly make me sick to the pit of… Read more »

Riki
Riki
1 month ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Unfortunately plenty of Welsh up and down the country will fall for it. If history is anything to go by!

DAI Ponty
DAI Ponty
1 month ago

Welsh Tories want Wales to just be another county of England and a lot if the english think Wales is A principalty just because we have a Prince imposed on us and that Wales is not a Country Arrogant or just bloody stupid or perhaps a bit of both

Rob
Rob
1 month ago

Would it be anti-UK if Cumbria or Yorkshire had made a similar proposal?

Richard 1
Richard 1
1 month ago

Well done Jake. Long overdue recompense for English theft of Welsh resources – Tryweryn, and Elan before Wales realised that being cannon fodder in two world wars could give us a bargaining position. You have a long fight in front of you. You’d have my vote but you stand in the wrong ward.

Richard 1
Richard 1
1 month ago
Reply to  Richard 1

Try Westminster – tory is a muppet

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