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UKIP slams Prince of Wales



Prince of Wales: Criticised by UKIP

Prince of Wales: Criticised by UKIP

UKIP has criticised Prince Charles for claiming in an interview that there may be a direct link between climate change and terrorism.
Speaking three weeks ago to Sky News, before the recent atrocities in Paris, Prince Charles argued that “there’s very good evidence indeed that one of the major reasons for this horror in Syria, funnily enough was a drought that lasted for about five or six years, which meant that huge numbers of people in the end had to leave the land” and goes on to say “the Pentagon have actually started to pay attention to this. I mean it has a huge impact on what is happening”
Prince Charles travels to Paris next week to deliver a keynote speech at the November 30 opening ceremony for Cop21, the United Nations conference on climate change which will attempt to reach a new international agreement to help limit global warming to no more than two degrees.
A UKIP Wales spokesman commented: “Prince Charles will likely fly once again by private jet to Paris and be picked up by a convoy of gas guzzling motorcars in order to preach about cutting carbon emissions.
“At the start of this year he and Camilla were hosted by the Saudi Royal Family to use his special relationship with the monarchy to promote British interests. Perhaps he will use those connections to encourage the oil rich Gulf states to help tackle the threat from Islamic extremism and play their part in helping refugees in the region.
“Links between terror cells in Saudi Arabia and Islamic State are well established, and it is documented that a vast amount of funding for extremism is also coming from inside Saudi Arabia. Rather than make frankly ludicrous comments about climate change leading to Middle Eastern conflict, he actually has the right connections to say and do something useful.”

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Have your say on Council Tax premiums in Pembrokeshire



MEMBERS of the public are being asked to provide feedback on Council Tax premiums in Pembrokeshire.
Pembrokeshire County Council is carrying out a consultation on the premiums that apply to second and long-term empty homes.
The consultation seeks views on current Council Tax premiums for second homes, current Council Tax premiums for long-term empty homes, and whether the Council should use its discretion following Welsh Government’s reform to self-catering holiday accommodation thresholds, to be in non-domestic rates.
The consultation provides context and background information on the current Council Tax premiums and housing locally.
It also provides the definitions of second homes, long-term empty homes, exceptions and holiday lettings.
Cllr Josh Beynon, Council Cabinet Member for Corporate Finance and Efficiencies, said: “It is very important that as many people as possible give us their opinions on this consultation
“We know that Council Tax premiums are an issue that provoke strong opinions so we want to hear those opinions. The responses will form an essential part of our review into Council Tax premiums.”
How to take part in the consultation:
The consultation can be completed at
If you do not have access to the internet and would like to respond please call 01437 764551 and a hard copy response form can be sent to you.
The closing date for completed responses is 27 August 2024.

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First Minister quits after less than four months in job



FIRST MINISTER Vaughan Gething has announced his resignation.

Gething did not offer any apologies for the events of the past few months or for his campaign donations.

He expressed that he had hoped for “rebuilding and renewal” under his leadership over the summer.

“I recognise now that this is not possible,” he stated.

He described this period as the most challenging time “for me and my family”.

“A growing assertion that some kind of wrongdoing has taken place has been pernicious, politically motivated and patently untrue,” he declared.

“In 11 years as a minister, I have never made a decision for personal gain. I have never misused or abused my ministerial responsibilities.

“My integrity matters. I have not compromised it.

“I regret that the burden of proof is no longer an important commodity in the language of our politics. I do hope that can change.

“To those in Wales who look like me – many of whom I know feel personally bruised and worried by this moment, I know that our country can be better. I know that cannot happen without us.”

He added that he would discuss a timetable for the election of a new leader.

Reaction to resignation

Andrew RT Davies MS, Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, said: “Vaughan Gething’s resignation is long overdue.

“But there can be no doubt that his Labour colleagues, from those who resigned today all the way up to Keir Starmer, have stood by his side, and are culpable for the breakdown in governance in Wales.

“Wales will remember.”

Responding to the resignation Plaid Cymru Leader Rhun ap Iorwerth said:

“The people of Wales have lost faith in the First Minister, belatedly he has done that right thing and resigned.

“But the people of Wales are losing confidence in Labour’s ability to govern Wales.

“This could be the third Labour First Minister in seven months – a revolving door of chaos.

“Labour has put party interests ahead of the interests of the nation for too long.

“The people of Wales must be given the opportunity to elect a new government and an election must be called.

“Plaid Cymru stands ready to serve with a platform which puts fairness and ambition at its heart.

“Voters the length and breadth of Wales deserve a government which is unrelenting in addressing the issues that matter most to them – from record high NHS waiting lists and the scourge of child poverty, to below average educational outcomes and building an economy that works for all.

“After 25 years at the helm, Labour is unable to rebuild and refresh from within.

Liberal Democrat Leader Jane Dodds MS said: “This is the right decision but one that was long overdue. Welsh Labour have left us in a sorry situation of their own making.

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats want to see steps taken to ensure these sorts of scandals don’t keep happening, including a cap on political donations.

“Whoever now becomes Welsh Labour Leader, the Welsh Liberal Democrats will ensure they are held to account and focus on the issues where the Welsh public are being let down, whether that’s child poverty, ambulance waiting times or the situation at Port Talbot Steel Works.”


Here is Vaughan Gething’s statement in full: “I have this morning taken the difficult decision to begin the process of stepping down as leader of the Welsh Labour Party and, as a result, First Minister.

“Having been elected as leader of my party in March, I had hoped that over the summer a period of reflection, rebuilding and renewal could take place under my leadership. I recognise now that this is not possible.

“It has been the honour of my life to do this job even for a few short months. To see the dedication to public service from our civil service, and the dedication to civility from the Welsh public.

“To see the election of a new government in Westminster, and the fresh hope that brings to Wales. I have always pursued my political career to serve Wales.

“And being able to show underrepresented communities that there is a place for them, for us, is an honour and privilege that will never diminish.

“It’s what drew me into public service. Before becoming an MS I fought employment cases for people who’d been mistreated at work.

“I wanted to give power those without a voice.

“That has always been my motivation. I also campaigned to help create the Senedd, clocking up 30 years of work to support Wales’ devolution journey.

“This has been the most difficult time, for me, and my family. A growing assertion that some kind of wrongdoing has taken place has been pernicious, politically motivated and patently untrue.

“In 11 years as a Minister, I have never ever made a decision for personal gain. I have never ever misused or abused my ministerial responsibilities. My integrity matters. I have not compromised it.

“I regret that the burden of proof is no longer an important commodity in the language of our politics. I do hope that can change.

“I will now discuss a timetable for the election of new leader of my party. Finally, I want to say thank you to those who have reached out to support me, my team and my family in recent weeks. It has meant the world to all of us.

“To those in Wales who look like me – many of whom I know feel personally bruised and worried by this moment, I know that our country can be better. I know that cannot happen without us.

“There will – and there must be – a government that looks like the country it serves.

“Thank you.”

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Concerns over risk to public funds in TVR deal



TAXPAYERS could face a multi-million-pound bill after the Welsh Government spent more than £14m on a failed attempt to attract sports car manufacturer TVR to Wales.

Adrian Crompton, the auditor general for Wales, said the Welsh Government spent £4.75m buying the former Techboard factory in 2021 and £7.6m on refurbishment.

TVR received a £2m five-year loan and a £500,000 investment from the public purse, with the aim of creating 150 jobs and building 2,000 sports cars in Ebbw Vale by 2020.

But at the turn of 2024, the carmaker confirmed it no longer wants to lease the factory – or locate production in Wales – after announcing a new base in Hampshire.

Mr Crompton, who oversees the annual audit of some £24bn of public money, said selling the building for a market value of about £7.5m would net taxpayers a loss of £4.85m.

In a letter dated July 12, he told a Senedd committee that ministers have been trying to find an alternative tenant since November, with TVR paying a £322-a-month rent in that time.

Mr Crompton wrote that the 180,000 sq ft factory – which could generate an income of about £735,000 a year – has attracted some market interest but no formal offers.

Wales’ auditor general said Welsh Government officials’ advice was not to award a contract for the factory refurbishment in advance of a lease agreement with TVR

But he told the public accounts committee: “In August 2020, the minister wrote to TVR telling them the Welsh Government would progress refurbishment with or without them.”

Refurbishment of the factory, which was initially expected to cost £4.5m in 2017, was finally completed in July 2023 with the budget having ballooned to £7.6m.

Taxpayers could be on the hook for a botched investment in the company’s shares, the letter revealed, despite TVR being deemed a high-risk business at the time.

The Welsh Government bought 3.3% of the sports car manufacturer in 2016 but the public’s stake in the company has since more than halved to 1.6%.

TVR received a multi-million investment as part of a joint venture with Ensorcia, a lithium-mining business, which diluted the Welsh Government’s shareholding in 2021.

In May, ministers received external advice about the TVR stake – including a lower valuation than paid in 2016 – and secured an option to sell the shares back to the company.

Officials are now preparing ministerial advice for a decision on whether to sell the shares at a loss or retain the investment in the hope the price increases.

Mr Crompton said TVR breached loan requirements in September 2016 because it had not secured a promised £5.5m private-sector investment to start production.

He added that TVR negotiated extensions to the Welsh Government’s loan default requirement, which otherwise would have led to early repayment in full

In April 2022, TVR paid the Welsh Government £4.3m, covering the £2m loan and accrued interest, which released the company from a requirement to base itself in Wales.

Mr Crompton wrote: “The Welsh Government had to extend the loan repayment period but still achieved a return on investment when TVR eventually repaid it….

“Full repayment has now removed the conditions that were originally attached to the loan.”

In his briefing, the auditor general said he reviewed Welsh Government support for TVR after receiving correspondence that expressed concerns about the risk to public funds.

Mr Crompton pointed out that the public purse will have incurred further costs in terms of officials’ time over many years, external advice and professional fees.

Ministers’ attempts to woo TVR coincided with the failed £425m Circuit of Wales project.

The proposals for a motor racing circuit in Blaenau Gwent collapsed in 2017, with Ken Skates, then-economy minister, refusing to underwrite a £210m loan.

In 2020, Mr Skates wrote off nearly £15m related to loans for the Circuit of Wales after failing to claw back taxpayers’ money.

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