Mike in Llandudno
Mike Pritchard is Honorary Secretary of Save Our Scenery, a campaign group opposed to the offshore wind farms off the North Wales coast.
They are campaigning against the 250 turbines of Gwynt y Môr offshore wind farm which will be built off the coast, across Llandudno Bay. Save our Scenery wants to protect Wales’ heritage coastline and its associated tourism industry.
With planning decisions for wind farms and barrage schemes currently being made in Westminster, Mike wants to see Wales have more planning powers to make decisions on the matter.
Wales’ local government and the Welsh Assembly Government have no control over these offshore wind farms. It’s all in the hands of Westminster. We want to see a revision of the 1989 Electricity Act to bring more local democracy into the planning decisions.
Planning legislation should reflect the activities of offshore energy developments in the same way as county councils and WAG have authority over on shore wind farms. What we want is a public enquiry but this can’t be done as the final decision is made in Westminster and not in Wales.
Mike believes in further powers for the Assembly although he doesn’t think the Assembly does much for North Wales and only concentrates on South Wales.
I’ve been involved with the Assembly and the Petitions Committee before but I just don’t see the Assembly as accessible. There is definitely a north-south divide in Wales and this has got to be resolved before the Assembly take on extra powers. It’s easier for us in North Wales to get to London than Cardiff.
I know that new Assembly offices are being built in Llandudno Junction. I hope that half the offices will be filled with people from the Assembly in Cardiff and we’ll also have more access to Ministers.
I do want to see extra powers for the Assembly. I want more devolution. I want to see power devolved from Cardiff to North Wales. That should be the next stage – regionalisation.”