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Shared Prosperity Fund leads to mutual hostility between Cardiff Bay and Westminster



THE UK GOVERMENT’S Shared Prosperity Fund announcement on Wednesday, April 13, renewed tension between Cardiff Bay and Westminster.

On Wednesday, the UK Government announced the Shared Prosperity Fund would provide £585m to local authorities in Wales over the next three years.

That money includes an allocation to Wales of £101m to deliver a UK adult numeracy programme called Multiply. 

The Welsh Government says that slice of funding “risks duplicating Wales’s national curriculum and learning approaches.”


The £585m is not extra or new money. Instead, the UK Government funds replace EU funding lost by Wales thanks to Brexit.

The tension arises from the difference in how the UK Government will allocate the funds and how it’s calculated them.

Westminster claims the funding takes account of residual European funding already allocated to the Welsh Government and that the Shared Prosperity Fund tops up those funds. It implies awarding more funds would double-count the funding available in Wales.

The Welsh Government denies those claims and says the Shared Prosperity Fund leaves Wales £1bn short over the next three years.

It’s more likely that the truth lies somewhere between both positions.


The Welsh Government further says how the UK Government plans to allocate the funds undermines the devolution settlement.

EU funds were administered by the Welsh Government, which could set its priorities for their application.

To ensure money was spent where it wanted it spent, the Welsh Government built a network of third-party stakeholders and quangos.

There is no doubt that the Welsh Government blew vast quantities of EU money on vanity projects and snaffled money intended for discrete purposes for its own initiatives.

However, Westminster honoured the Welsh Government’s broad autonomy and kept its distance.

Wales got more out of the EU than it paid in. However, ahead of the EU Referendum, Stephen Crabb warned David Cameron that fact would not persuade Wales to vote to stay in the EU.

Mr Crabb criticised the Welsh Government for investing EU funds in the wrong places and on the wrong projects. He also heavily criticised Cardiff Bay for wasting money on bureaucracy.

Under Boris Johnson, the Conservative Government in Westminster has pulled the funding rug out from under the Welsh Government.

Instead of funding passing through the Welsh Government’s coffers before passing to third parties and thence to delivery at a local level, the Shared Prosperity Fund will pass directly to regional bodies and local authorities to use on priorities they set.


Plaid Cymru’s Westminster Leader, Liz Saville Roberts MP, condemned the UK Government’s decision.

“Just like decisions about Wales should be made in Wales, funding allocated to Wales should be spent by the government of Wales – not by Westminster and its out-of-touch Tory Ministers.

“The Tories promised in 2019 to replace EU cash with a programme that was ‘fairer’ and better tailored to Wales’s economy. They have broken that promise.

“Already below what was promised and failing even to match EU funding, this so-called Shared Prosperity Fund will leave Wales and our communities £1bn worse off.

“The Westminster Government has also resisted increasing regional support in line with the unprecedented inflation they are overseeing – which is exacerbating the cost-of-living crisis and squeezing household budgets and those of our local authorities and the Welsh Government.

“And where EU funding to Wales was allocated to communities by our government according to need, this post-EU regional funding regime depends on the ‘input’ of and advocacy by MPs when the Westminster Government is cutting the number of Welsh MPs by a fifth.

“Dividing Wales into 22 separate economic regions, reducing the number of MPs, and cutting corners with funding sets up the scheme to fail.

“This is another bitter reminder that Westminster will never work for Wales.”


Wales’s Economy Minister was equally disenchanted with the Shared Prosperity Fund.

Vaughan Gething MS said: “Although there has been some movement, the funding plans set out by the UK Government today do not reflect the distinct needs of Welsh communities. We are concerned that too little will reach those communities most in need. The Welsh Government proposed an alternative formula that would distribute funding more fairly across Wales according to economic need, but the UK Government rejected this.

“The proposed role of the Welsh Government also falls short of a genuine co-decision-making function essential to maximising investment and respecting devolution in Wales.

“On this basis, it has not been possible to endorse the UK Government’s approach on this Fund. We cannot support their decision to redirect economic development funds away from those areas where poverty is most concentrated.

“The dramatic reduction in the funds compounds their regressive decision. Wales would have received £1bn more had the UK Government delivered its pledge to replace EU funds for Wales in full.

“We have made it clear to the UK Government that this has implications for the role the Welsh Government can play in the next steps of delivery and implementation and the commitment of our resources.

“Put simply, we are facing a loss of more than £1bn in un-replaced funding over the next three years. As a result, there will be hard decisions to make for the Welsh Government and other institutions across business, higher education, further education, and the third sector which have benefitted from EU Structural Funds previously.”


The Welsh Conservatives drew attention to the fact that Wales will be the largest beneficiary of the Shared Prosperity Fund.

They also highlight the following allocations within Wales:

  • North Wales – £126 million.
  • Mid Wales – £42 million.
  • South West Wales – £138 million.
  • South East Wales – £279 million.

The Welsh Conservative Shadow Economy Minister, Paul Davies MS, said: “The people of Wales voted to leave the European Union, and I am glad to see the UK Conservative Government delivering on the will of the people once again, despite years of obstruction by Labour in both Wales and Westminster.  

“I am pleased to see that Wales will be the biggest beneficiary of this Fund.

“Contrary to what Labour ministers would have people believe, this investment will ensure that all parts of Wales will benefit following our departure from the EU.

“I would encourage all parts of Wales to take up the opportunity to deliver for their local communities building back better out of the pandemic.

“The Labour Government in Cardiff Bay needs to stop playing politics and work with the UK Government and local authorities to ensure that this funding is spent directly on supporting communities across Wales.”

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Former councillor’s pub works expected to be refused



ALTERATIONS to a bar in a seaside village’s conservation area, partly owned by a former county councillor, are expected to be turned down by national park planners next week.

Pembrokeshire Coast National Park’s Development Management committee, meeting on June 7, is recommended to refuse an application, by Ross Barnes, to replace an existing glass balustrade with a variable height glass balustrade and the installation of two permanent parasols at Harbwr Bar and Kitchen, Wogan Terrace, Saundersfoot.

The item is being considered by the Development Management Committee as former committee member – and former county councillor – Mike Evans, who had left the authority less than 12 months prior to the application’s submission, has a material interest in its outcome.

Local community council Saundersfoot had objected to the application, stating: “Following consideration of all the information provided by the Planning Authority, Saundersfoot Community Council advise the planning officer that it is not in support of this planning application, considering that the proposed plans are not within the keeping of the surrounding buildings nor in keeping with the conservation area in which the building is situated.”

The authority’s Buildings Conservation Officer recommended refusal, stating: “The property is prominent within Saundersfoot Conservation Area, denoted as a positive building.

“Section 72 of the 1990 Act requires that when considering planning applications, special attention must be paid to the desirability of preserving or enhancing the character or appearance of the area.

“The scheme includes extendable glass balustrading and two permanent ‘pergolas’ (gazebos), these extending across the whole of the fascia, filling the front courtyard.

“This is my view comprises over-development that cannot reasonably be said to preserve or enhance the character of Saundersfoot.”

The officer also raised concerns about the impact on the character and appearance of the conservation area.

The plans are recommended to be refused on the grounds of visual impact, overdevelopment within the conservation area, and “The proposal does not preserve the setting of Listed Buildings within Saundersfoot.”

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Image Caption: The Harbwr Bar and Kitchen, Saundersfoot

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Engineering learner Reuben heading for ‘pole position’



ENGINEERING learner Reuben Whitehead has been turning heads with his mechanical talents when he recently designed and built his very own battery powered go-kart.

Reuben, who is a passionate Formula One fan, works part-time at West Wales Karting and decided to rebuild the kart earlier this year after they kindly donated a pre-existing kart to him.

The process involved stripping the kart down to a bare chassis and then refurbishing it. This was followed by implementing the electrical aspect of the kart and fabricating mounts for both the batteries and motor made from carbon fibre and steel.

The key components and materials used were steel for the chassis, aluminium for the rims, and an inclusion of carbon fibre for both the motor mounts and battery.

The motor produces 2.5hp and has an efficiency rate of 90% when in operation. The torque produced is 8.4-foot pounds when in operation and the motor revs 1500RPM.

Reuben explained the purpose of his project, “I built the Go-Kart because I am passionate about motorsport and enjoy karting both in local competitions and with friends so for me the opportunity to build an electric kart was exciting and something that would require me to use my skills that I have developed throughout my time at the College. I also built the project as I knew it was something that I would enjoy undertaking and be able to learn new skills along the way. Being able to get hands on with a kart and understand both the fundamentals and intricate aspects was important for my development as an aspiring motorsport engineer, hopefully one day with Formula One.”

Reuben took his first test drive in the car earlier this month using the track based up at West Wales Karting.

Reuben also discussed what inspires him to achieve his dream career.

Reuben explained, “The individuals who inspire me are my mum, for how brave and courageous she is, for always believing in me and supporting me. My late stepdad, he never gave up even at the toughest of times and always kept fighting even when the odds were against him as well as teaching me that if you work hard enough anything is achievable. Finally, Lewis Hamilton for showing that again with hard work you can achieve anything and that no dream/goal is too big, also the way in which he conducts himself after tough losses on the racetrack.”

An articulate learner, Reuben spends a large amount of time in the machine workshop whilst studying at the College where he has developed skills in working with lathes and milling machines, hand fitting tool techniques as well as CAD and precision measurement practices which has aided his knowledge into the world of car design and engineering.  

Aside from Reuben’s College studies, he has self-taught himself many transferable skills.

Reuben said, “I can’t take all the credit, having been fortunate enough to have experience of refurbishing classic cars with my stepdad growing up, as well as being able to build rally cars when on work experience whilst studying in my first year of College, this has certainly helped me learn and build a skillset that can be applied in numerous engineering environments. Spending time in the workshop and learning from tutors who have real industry experience has helped me.”

Curriculum Area Manager for Engineering Will Bateman, expressed how proud the department is of Reuben, “Reuben has worked at a consistently excellent standard throughout the two-year programme. We are incredibly proud of his final project, that has showcased his skills and learning from the course. Reuben is a true engineering ambassador having spoken to numerous 14–16-year-old groups on choices post-compulsory education.”

Reuben plans on becoming a Motorsport Engineer in Formula One after his studies and this project has fuelled his motivation to show potential employers just how talented he is.

To find out more about the Engineering courses available at the College please visit:

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One week to go until deadline for 20 MPH consultation, says Council



IN JULY 2022, the Senedd passed legislation to reduce the default speed limit from 30mph to 20mph on restricted roads in Wales.

The legislation will come into force across Wales, including Pembrokeshire, on 17 September 2023.

However in some places, a 20mph speed limit will not be appropriate or feasible.

In these locations, the 30mph speed limit can remain on the basis of an ‘exceptions’ process, which will be introduced by way of Traffic Regulation Orders (TRO).

Pembrokeshire County Council has proposed twenty-seven 20mph exceptions across the county’s road network, having reviewed criteria and requested local feedback.

The public consultation on the proposed exceptions opened on 17th May and closes at midnight on Wednesday, June 7.

The consultation will also seek the public’s views on proposed 20mph speed limits on those 30mph roads in Pembrokeshire which won’t automatically default to 20mph in September as they are not classified as ‘restricted roads’ (these roads are known as 30mph by order).

The proposed exceptions and proposed 20mph limits can be viewed at: View map | DataMapWales ( or alternatively in person at County Hall reception.

How to take part in the consultation:


Members of the public will be able to take part in the consultation online until midnight on Wednesday 7th June on the Council’s website at Traffic Regulation Orders – Pembrokeshire County Council

In person:

Documents will also be available to view at County Hall in Haverfordwest until 5pm on Wednesday 7th June. A laptop has been set up in Reception and a member of the Traffic Team is available from 0900 – 1700 Monday to Thursday, and 0900 – 16:30 on Friday to assist members of the public in person if required.

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