The Welsh Labour Government has now confirmed that the First Minister Carwyn Jones gave “inaccurate” information on the highly controversial Barry Incinerator project.
The First Minister – who will be out of office in a few days from now – is said to have provided wrong information about a crucial “Environmental Impact Assessment” on the Barry Docks Incinerator – a document which is meant to assess how much damage the project will do to the environment.
The incinerator project is vociferously opposed by the overwhelming majority of local residents in Barry – and its effluent is forecast to pollute not only Barry but Penarth too when it starts up in earnest.
Carwyn Jones had originally declared – in writing to Penarth Conservative AM Andrew R T Davies that the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) was expected “the end of November”.
November has now come and gone by the First Minister seems to have been busy with other things – including the Carl Sargeant affair – and, despite his e promises, no announcement about the Barry incinerator has yet been made.
As thousands of people in Barry – and in Penarth – are anxiously awaiting the information, Andrew R T Davies yesterday raised the issue in the Welsh Assembly with Leader of the House and Chief Whip Julie James.
The Welsh Labour Government’s inexperienced “Minister for the Environment” Hannah Blythyn is now said to be proposing to take a decision on the incinerator “ as soon as possible”.
Attempting to salvage the situation and protect the First Minister , the Labour Chief Whip Ms James – said she was sure that the First Minister had provided the original (incorrect) information “in good faith” but that it had “turned out not to have been accurate”.
Andrew R T Davies says “The situation regarding an EIA has been dragging on for almost nine months – but local people were provided with assurances by the First Minister that they should expect a decision imminently. This included an expectation that it would be announced by the end of November – but a fellow minister has now admitted this was not correct. “
Mr Davies – who has maintained regular contact with local residents throughout the tortuous planning process – has again met campaigners from the Docks Incinerator Action Group .
He said “The lack of communication within the Welsh Government and between ministers is very concerning. They are tasked with taking the decision and this will do nothing to improve confidence in the process.”