UK Government should help pay for storm damage, says Lord Wigley

A large wave crashes over the promenade at high tide in Aberystwyth Aberystwyth's promenade is one of the places damaged by storm-driven waves

Related Stories

The UK government has been accused of failing to appreciate the seriousness of recent storms in Wales, during a debate in the House of Lords.

The Treasury should step in to help pay for the clear-up along the coastline, according to former Plaid Cymru leader Lord Wigley.

A UK government minister said it was a matter for the Welsh government.

Meanwhile, Welsh Secretary David Jones said Wales would get a share of any extra funding spent in England.

Lord Wigley made his comments during a short urgent statement in the Lords.

"In some areas, such as Aberystwyth and other parts of the Ceredigion coast, and, indeed, the Pembrokeshire coast, the damage was so acute that it may run into many millions of pounds to put right."

Lord Wigley said this was "well beyond" the resources of small local authorities, while the National Assembly for Wales had limited reserves.

Lord Elystan-Morgan, an independent crossbench peer who lives near Aberystwyth, said the UK Government did not seem to realise the seriousness of what had happened.

Start Quote

The scale of storm destruction is such that it is impossible for local authorities or, indeed, the Welsh Assembly to render proper remedy”

End Quote Lord Elystan-Morgan

"Aberystwyth, but (also) many other places on the Welsh coast, have been so badly hit it is far more desperate than the Government seem to appreciate," he said.

"The scale of storm destruction is such that it is impossible for local authorities or, indeed, the Welsh assembly to render proper remedy.

"Although Westminster exercises sovereignty over the land and nation of Wales, with that sovereignty there is also a high and heavy moral responsibility to assist in situations of crisis such as these."

Lord Morris of Aberavon asked: "In the event of the Treasury providing assistance for England, will the Treasury provide an increased amount to meet the Welsh Assembly's need for expenditure in Wales?"

But the English Local Government Minister Baroness Stowell said the issue was devolved and it was up to the Welsh government to respond.

"In responding to the situation and ensuring that those who are affected are properly supported, we would expect that to be the same whoever is affected and wherever in the United Kingdom they may be," she said.

"This is a devolved matter. The Government are at the present time introducing the Bellwin scheme [emergency financial assistance to councils].

"We believe that that is the proper approach and we look to the Welsh assembly to consider what action it should take."

In the House of Commons, Welsh Secretary David Jones said Wales would get a share of any extra funding spent in England.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Wales stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

  • A resin model of a sculpture illustrating the WW1 Christmas Truce football matchChristmas truce

    How France has forgotten the WW1 enemies who shook hands


  • Woman thinkingWho? What? Why?

    The questions of 2014, answered succinctly


  • Banda Aceh in 2004 and 2014Then and now

    Images of transformation 10 years on from the Indian Ocean tsunami


  • JACK O'Connell Big break

    Why Jack O'Connell is the talk of Hollywood


Elsewhere on the BBC

  • HolidayHaute holiday

    When you’re wealthy, money is no object. BBC Capital discovers six places the rich like to escape to

Programmes

  • (File photo) A mother polar bear and two cubssThe Travel Show Watch

    From polar bear watching to crocodile conservation - highlights from 2014

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.