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Author: Click on Wales

Electrification to Swansea…or not!

On March 1st, 2011, I was interviewed live on BBC Wales Evening news from Swansea; the then Secretary of State for Wales, Cheryl Gillan, was also interviewed. The UK Government had just confirmed GWML electrification from Paddington to Cardiff. Having been part of the campaign, I was asked my view on whether the electrification should or would be extended to Swansea…. I confidently predicted that electrification would be extended to Swansea. On September 6th the same year, I presented my evidence for the Cardiff Business Partnership to the Westminster Transport Committee as part of their review of High Speed...

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A road to Cardiff Airport…or regeneration in Pontypridd?

Its back again…talk of a £100M link road from J34 of the M4 south through the Vale of Glamorgan to Cardiff Airport has resurfaced (they’ll be choking on their ginger beers in Pendoylan).  Sounds familiar? Well it is.  Welsh Government tested and consulted on this option (and others) in a process in 2007/8 as I recall. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now… I wholeheartedly support better access to Cardiff Airport – which is now a Welsh Government strategic asset.  However, with limited public funds we have to invest, yes strategically, but also proportionately and giving due...

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Keep singing to win

The great German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, once said, ‘Without music, life would be a mistake’ and I think he was onto something. Maybe this thinking is what drove, in part, the successful Save Womanby Street campaign in Cardiff recently which fought to protect some of the city’s grassroots music venues; because let me be clear, venues like these and the music scene they support are crucial to the Capital city and wider Wales, both economically and socially. Music and the arts are pivotal to any thriving city, especially one with aspirations to continue to grow and become a beacon of creativity and positivity, a place where people want to live and socialise. A modern European capital. It is therefore so important that Cardiff Council and all local authorities in Wales address the planning issues around noise when new developments are given the green light alongside existing music orientated business, an issue that so very nearly contributed to the demise of small venues along Womanby Street. In addition, the Welsh Government needs to have a clear music strategy that reinforces a vision for making Wales a true ‘land of song’ which puts in place the infrastructure to support these smaller venues with sound business advice, to help them through the barren spells we all experience. A Welsh Music Foundation perhaps? This vision is needed for a number of reasons. Let’s...

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Impartial and fair news coverage in GE2017: what does Wales think?

Critical debate and discussion on Welsh media have been a welcome and prominent feature of Click  recently, going back to the Institute of Welsh Affairs (IWA) Wales Media Audit of 2015 which showed a steady decline in funding for Welsh media since 2007, culminating in the IWA Welsh Media Summit in March (for a good example see my colleague Dr Dan Evans’ article). More recently, GE17 leadership debates, polling results and constituency outcomes have been crowding media reports and influencing public debate across the UK, and Wales is no different. However, in a recent BBC news article,  ‘General election...

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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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