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Welsh Secretary scraps plans for massive Union Jack on Cardiff building as cost balloons

24 Sep 2021 3 minutes Read
Simon Hart (left) by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0). Right, UK Government branding being applied to Ty William Morgan House, Cardiff Central Square. Picture by Lewis Beecham.

The Welsh Secretary has scrapped plans for a massive Union Jack on the side of a Cardiff building after costs ballooned.

Cardiff council officers had approved planning permission for the 105-foot high flag on Tŷ William Morgan tax office.

But it has now been jettisoned after it turned out the final cost would be as much as £180,000 to the taxpayer.

The UK government said the secretary of state halted plans because it “did not represent good value for the taxpayer”.

A YesCymru’s petition to revoke planning permission, had already garnered over 19,000 signatures.

The First Minister, Mark Drakeford had expressed concern that the giant flag would only push more people towards independence.

Mark Drakeford said that his objection “is not to a union flag per se; it is whether a 32 m tall, 8 m wide union flag is a proportionate way of proceeding”.

If the purpose of their actions is to strengthen the union, then they need to ask themselves whether or not a union jack on the scale and size that they are proposing is likely to achieve that ambition,” he said.

‘Visual branding’

However, Conservative MP David Davies said that YesCymru couldn’t complain about the UK Government placing a 100 foot Union Jack on their own building while putting stickers everywhere

“The petition I understand is being pushed by Yes Cymru and I’m frankly sick of seeing Yes Cymru stickers being placed all over signs and buildings in Wales,” he said.

“If they want the moral high ground they should remember we applied for planning permission for our flag. When they want to start applying for planning permission for all the stickers they’re posting illegally then they might have some grounds for a discussion but right now they haven’t.”

Before it was announced the giant flag would not be added to the building, a UK Government spokesperson had said: “Tŷ William Morgan is a significant UK Government building and is the first of its kind in Wales.

“As is practice with similar UK Government sites across the United Kingdom and around the world, it will feature the Union flag as part of its visual branding.

“The flag of Wales is flown at Tŷ William Morgan which also contains other specifically Welsh branding, while the name of the new building was chosen to reflect the UK Government’s investment in Wales and Welsh culture.”

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Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
29 days ago

Great news 😊

Stephen Owen
Stephen Owen
29 days ago

Newyddion gwych 😊

Philip Jones
Philip Jones
29 days ago

All those balloons I filled with paint and the giant catapult I bought all gone to waste

Vaughan
Vaughan
29 days ago
Reply to  Philip Jones

Lol!

hdavies15
hdavies15
29 days ago
Reply to  Philip Jones

Reading at speed I initially thought you’d written “All those baboons I filled …” ! There again the baboons would have done a neat job of tearing it down .

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
29 days ago

I hope I can cancel my drone order.

Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
Llywelyn ein Llyw Nesaf
29 days ago

There’s bound to be some other target. Cloughie himself?

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
29 days ago

This news, although welcomed, is nothing to do with any costs ballooning. It largely down to Welsh public anger, not to mention the chaotic situation Brexit is causing the English government in London with food supplies issues and the road haulage fiasco which they’ve blamed on Covid not Brexit. Yeah, right. If it were Covid those same drivers would still be here not back in Europe. More lies & spin from our Conservative idiocracy. See, If rising costs were a factor. HS2 or the 3rd Runway at Heathrow would have been halted too, or like the rail electrification between Cardiff… Read more »

Last edited 29 days ago by Y Cymro
Quornby
Quornby
29 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Right on the money Cymro.

Aled Rees
Aled Rees
29 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

Bang on

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
29 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

You’re almost certainly right about the real reason for cancelling their so-called “visual branding”, but I doubt if anyone in Cardiff who cares about these issues is fooled by their “too expensive” claim. Pity they can’t think twice about some of their other plans for Wales.

Last edited 29 days ago by Wrexhamian
Ieuan Evans
Ieuan Evans
29 days ago

Common sense at last

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
29 days ago

That’s made my day 🙂

Cai Wogan Jones
Cai Wogan Jones
29 days ago

This was a trivial sideshow. What really matters are Michael Gove’s plans to fillet our devolution settlement.

Quornby
Quornby
29 days ago

So he’s wised up a bit and cancelled the thing? Nothing to do with cost of course….. it was to avoid the humiliation of a thousands strong protest outside his office and what the idiot in Downing Street would think of that.

Grayham Jones
29 days ago

Stop being little Englanders and be proud to be welsh kick all English party’s out of wales that’s the Tories Labour and all Brexit party’s it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

Richard
Richard
29 days ago

Its pleasing to see that the Sec of State and facts plus common sense have got together again.

We should all rejoice at the savings which no doubt can go towards something more beneficial eg – an emergency ambulance or perhaps a bursery for young folk wishing to develop personal skills…?

Tracey Houghton
Tracey Houghton
29 days ago

Good response by Drakeford, AND it’s annoyed David the TC Davies, which is always a bonus.

Geoff Horton-Jones
Geoff Horton-Jones
29 days ago

The Secretary of State Simon Hart is good value for money ???
I am not alone in believing he is not

Brian Coman
Brian Coman
29 days ago

Imagine having a huge flag like that without Welsh representation on it…just like the Royal Standard…..

Eifion
Eifion
28 days ago

It’s a shame really, the more they try to force their so called union on us in the colony the more resentment it builds.
Since this all started I’ve never seen so many Cymru flags around.

Jay Mason
Jay Mason
28 days ago

A sensible decision. However, I don’t see the issue relates to devolution, independence or Nationhood. I’m for the Union, but never saw the point of a bloody great flag (any flag) on the side of any building. A good piece of artwork? That might be nice.

Wrexhamian
Wrexhamian
28 days ago
Reply to  Jay Mason

It was a proposal of crass insensitivity at a time when Johnson’s “muscular unionism” has Welsh devolution firmly in its sights, and was therefore bound to cause a lot of anger.

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
28 days ago

Does he put that wart on every morning or do you behind the page reverse it for reasons of your own?

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