The Welsh Labour Government’s “Petitions Committee” is to “gather further information” about the call for a Dinas Powis By Pass and has now decided that it will write to the cabinet secretary for the Economy and Infrastructure – Ken Skates – for an “update” on the Dinas Powys traffic study.
The meeting – yesterday – was considering a petition handed in last week bearing 3,305 signatures from Dinas Powys residents stating :- “We the undersigned, call on the National Assembly for Wales to urge the Welsh Government to provide the necessary funding and support for the construction of a Dinas Powys By-Pass.”
That petition has now come before the National Assembly’s little known “Petitions Committee”.
Sitting in an Assembly committee room which looked as though it had badly cleaned-up after receiving the attention of some red-lipstick-wielding vandals, the chairman of the Petitions Committee – Mike Hedges (Labour AM for Swansea East) put forward a suggested strategy to deal with the demands of Dinas Powys.
Hedges – a life-long Labourite who is in favour of building the massive rock-wall of Cardiff Tidal Lagoon in front of Penarth Esplanade – suggested “writing” to Assembly transport minister Ken Skates to enquire whether the Welsh Government had had any involvement to date on the current study into the Dinas Powis transport network and asked that the committee be “updated this month” .
Hedges said if the Minister replied that the Welsh Government had no involvement then the Petitions Committee would “write to the Vale of Glamorgan Council” – [the very council which dropped the By Pass scheme from its Local Development Plan].
Dinas Powys’s UKIP Assembly Member Gareth Bennett (UKIP South Wals Central) pointed out – with some degree of understatement – that “The Vale have not particularly pushed for the By-Pass themselves”.
He anticipated that the Vale Council would say “the problem is at the Merrie Harrier junction so the By- Pass wouldn’t resolve the traffic issues”. He wanted to be sure the matter didn’t “fall between the Welsh Government saying it’s up to the council – and the council saying the regional funding had been stopped.”
South Wales Central Conservative AM David Melding said some other studies into such schemes had gone on for “20 or 30 years” – a delay which did not serve the public interest.
Melding then went on – somewhat tangentially, if not perplexingly – to extol the virtues of the town which he evidently considered a Dinas Powys By-Pass might serve… Barry, noting the rising local property prices in Barry, what a great place Barry is to live in (as he had once done himself ) and the excellent train services available from that town.
Chairman Hedges said if there was not a “meeting of minds between the Minister and the petitioners” then the committee would decide how to take the matter forward ….a comment which might have left observers with the distinct impression nothing is going to happen in a hurry – or even at all.