PROPOSALS in the Budget to invest in infrastructure across England – but not in North Wales – are a blow to the region.
During his speech, Chancellor Phillip Hammond told the Commons that he would “open negotiations” on a growth bid for North Wales – barely moving on from a pre-election pledge to discuss the bid.
I am intensely disappointed with this Budget. There have been announcements of investment across England – but, yet again, the North Wales Growth Deal has been delayed.
We are expected to be content with the opening of ‘formal’ negotiations on the deal – when North Wales politicians, business leaders, councils and more have been making a strong, detailed case to the Treasury and other Government departments for months.
The Treasury did deign to fund a study into a business case into the improvement of journey times on the Wrexham to Bidston line, and the Budget suggests that the Department for Transport may be working on ‘proposals’ to upgrade some North Wales stations.
However, those meagre crumbs are about all that North Wales has to look forward to. Things have barely moved since the Chancellor said he would ‘consider’ North Wales issues in his Budget eight months ago - just before this year’s General Election.
Yet again for North Wales under the Chancellor and his Government, nothing has changed.