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Month: June 2017

Tesco Delivers an Uncomfortable Truth

Most of you reading this will by now be aware that Tesco is closing its call centre in Cardiff and concentrating its operations in Dundee. Inevitably, this has caused Labour politicos to weep and wail but equally predictably the buggers are also lying, because they will never admit to the political realities at work here. Don’t get me wrong, this is, fundamentally, an economic decision by a major company, but I guarantee that political influence has been exerted in favour of Dundee, not because those exerting the influence give a toss about Dundee or its people, but Tesco having its major call centre in Dundee, creating more jobs in the city, can be exploited for political advantage. What do I mean by that? If Scottish nationalism has a heartland, then obviously it’s not in the south, nor is it in the Highlands and the islands, or even the three biggest cities of Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. No, if the SNP and Scottish nationalism have a stronghold, then it’s in Scotland’s fourth largest city, Dundee. In the September 2014 independence referendum, Scotland voted 55% No 45% Yes, but in Dundee the result was overwhelmingly Yes. This was followed up by the elections for the Scottish Parliament in 2016, that saw the SNP gain close to 60% of the vote in both of the city’s constituencies. click to enlarge The Scottish...

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Cardiff appeals for show of unity

People in Cardiff are being invited to take part in a show of unity and solidarity following the arrest of a man from the city in connection with the Finsbury Park mosque attack. Cardiff Council is urging people to join the city’s Muslim community at a special Ramadam Iftar – the breaking of the daily Ramadan fast – on Cardiff City Hall lawns on Friday evening from 9pm. It hopes to send out the clear message that Cardiff is a welcoming city that celebrates its diverse communities. Huw Thomas Leader of Cardiff Council and Head of Christian Aid Wales, Huw Thomas, said,...

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Food and Drink Wales plan for green growth in food manufacturing available now

Food and Drink Wales plan for green growth in food manufacturing available now Food and Drink Wales plan for Green Growth in food and drink manufacturing has been published this week following a launch by Jane Hutt at the recent Taste Wales conference. ‘Doing Better Business – Opportunities for Welsh Food and Drink Manufacturers in Responsible and Green Growth‘ is written by Iain Cox of Ecostudio, with Welsh Government officials from Food and Drink Wales and with support from the industry. This business-friendly publication sets out how the Welsh Governments intention for an environmentally and socially responsible food and drink sector is bringing commercial advantages to Welsh food manufacturers. – it demonstrates how the Welsh food and drink industry is set benefit from the Welsh Government Food Action Plan and Future Generations legislation. – it features best practice examples from Welsh food and drink manufacturers and trade buyers, including: Parsnipship, Ty Tanglwyst Dairy, Puffin Produce, Fruitapeel, Bangor Mussel Producers and NHS Wales. – it describes the support available to Welsh food and drink manufacturers, including the Sustainable Business Review. A free online self-assessment that is helping 100s of small food companies to report their sustainable credentials to customers, and numerous trade buyers to meet CSR and legislation by assessing the sustainability of their suppliers. Iain Cox the publication’s author and Director of Ecostudio says: “The UK marketplace for sustainably...

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The Clubb Doctrine; presumed consent for community energy projects

My first hands-on experience with renewables was at Sunseed in 2004 I’ve been working in the renewable energy sector since 2004. Of the thousands of people I’ve met during that time, I’ve never encountered anyone who opposed community energy. Even the anti-wind die-hards don’t object to community energy — as long as it’s not wind, natch. You’d think that with widespread public, civic and political support for community energy it would be ubiquitous. But it’s not. Not even close. Less than 10 MW of Wales’ 2,300 MW of renewable electricity is community-owned. That’s a miniscule 0.4%. Community energy in Wales has...

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General Election 2017

Those of you who’ve read Cneifiwr’s latest post, about his canvassing experiences, will I’m sure have enjoyed him waxing lyrical about wrens and shimmering vistas, country lanes and tinkling rills . . . well you’ll get none of that fancy bucolic stuff here. This is the opinionated old git section of the Welsh blogosphere. Last Thursday gave us what was perhaps the strangest election of my lifetime. Not just because of the result and the way the Tories lost the commanding lead they’d held at the start of the campaign, but also because of the combination of factors not present in earlier elections, specifically, the recent surge of the SNP, the influence of Brexit, UKIP and the realignment of that party’s deserting voters, and post-election, the entrance of the DUP. So let’s consider the bigger picture before looking at the results in Wales. ♦ NORTH OF THE BORDER The Unionist parties and the London media are cock-a-hoop over the ‘defeat’ suffered by the SNP, but was it really such a defeat? In the 2010 general election the SNP won 6 seats out of a total of 59; in May 2015, following the independence referendum of September 2014, the party won 56 seats, gaining 50% of the vote (an increase of 30%). That was clearly a freak result, that was unlikely to ever be repeated. On Thursday, support for the SNP...

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